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Israeli soccer fans dream of returning to stadiums

Israeli soccer players have resumed training sessions and might even play again, but the fans are still kept away from the stadiums.
Maccabi fans cheer for their team prior to the second leg of the Europa league second round qualifier football match between Maccabi Haifa and RC Strasbourg at the Sammy Hofer stadium in Haifa on August 1, 2019. (Photo by Jack GUEZ / AFP)        (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel is starting to recover from the coronavirus outbreak and its return to normalcy is taking place gradually and cautiously. Hopefully, after the recent, difficult period of uncertainty, many Israeli fans will be encouraged by the return of soccer to the playing fields.

The Israeli Premier League, which was stopped March 13, will restart May 30 with the championship playoff games; the National League — the second division, which is below the Premier League — will also resume. On May 10, the players started training again, with the goal of holding two games a week; this way they will finish the league by the beginning of July. Under the current circumstances, however, the fans are not allowed to be part of the games and will be forced to view their teams on TV. The teams will face off with one another in front of empty stands and without the chanting and encouragement from their fans.

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