In an interview for FCBayern.com, Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer emphasized why he thought 2022 served as a great example for what football means to fans — and also what fans bring to the game.
“The return of fans was certainly the most important thing that happened in the whole of sport in 2022. It was a turning point and also went beyond sport: it said we’re living and experiencing things together again, in everyday life as well as at matches,” Hainer said. “I get the feeling that the pandemic still scares people, and on top of that there are current concerns like the war in Ukraine, the climate, the energy crisis. Shared experiences can give a lot of people a certain stability. Sport unites, not least through the emotions that you go through together in the stands.”
There is no doubt that after the ghost games of 2020 and the uneasiness some fans had about returning to large public gatherings in 2021 took its toll on the atmosphere for matches. Now, though, the energy is back and Hainer — for one — is extremely grateful.