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A year without fans lays bare soccer's soul
For over three months, there was no soccer of any kind in England, where it is by far the most popular sport.

The Premier League - the world's richest - and the Football League returned in mid-June, while teams like Halifax in the tier below had longer to wait.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDI
March 11, 2021
Footballers play during the third round of a Carabao Cup football match between Stoke City and Gillingham...
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Footballers play during the third round of a Carabao Cup football match between Stoke City and Gillingham at the bet365 Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, September 23, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUF0
March 11, 2021
Two Everton fans watch Everton's Jill Scott before a Women's Super League football match between Everton...
Liverpool, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Two Everton fans watch Everton's Jill Scott before a Women's Super League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Walton Hall Park, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Liverpool, Britain January 31, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDJ
March 11, 2021
Cardboard cutouts of football fans are placed in stands as clubs try to increase revenue and add some...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Cardboard cutouts of football fans are placed in stands as clubs try to increase revenue and add some atmosphere into the stadiums, on the day of a football match between Birmingham City and Watford at St Andrew's, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Birmingham, Britain, December 12, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDH
March 11, 2021
A steward makes use of the spare seats as he puts his feet up while watching a football game between...
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A steward makes use of the spare seats as he puts his feet up while watching a football game between Stoke City and Watford at the bet365 Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUEY
March 11, 2021
Huddersfield Towns ground staff mow the grass on the pitch after a Championship football match between...
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Huddersfield Towns ground staff mow the grass on the pitch after a Championship football match between Huddersfield Town and Stoke City at John Smith's Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Huddersfield, Britain, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDG
March 11, 2021
Stickers to enforce social distancing are stuck on seats on the day of a Premier League football match...
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Stickers to enforce social distancing are stuck on seats on the day of a Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion at Molineux Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wolverhampton, Britain, January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUEX
March 11, 2021
Swansea City manager Steve Cooper holds a press conference with the media in front of a concessions stand...
Swansea, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Swansea City manager Steve Cooper holds a press conference with the media in front of a concessions stand in a concourse underneath the main stand during the fourth round of a FA Cup football match between Swansea City and Nottingham Forest at Liberty Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Swansea, Wales, Britain, January 23, 2021. Interviews and press conferences have been moved from often very small press rooms to help with social distancing. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUEW
March 11, 2021
A photographer fills in a heath questionnaire in order to be allowed access to the stadium on the day...
Blackburn, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A photographer fills in a heath questionnaire in order to be allowed access to the stadium on the day of a Championship football match between Blackburn Rovers and Watford at Ewood Park, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Blackburn, Britain, February 24, 2021. This is done for every single game as per the COVID-19 protocols. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUEV
March 11, 2021
An academy player runs past Oakwell Stadium whilst the Barnsley and Bournemouth teams warm up inside,...
Barnsley, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
An academy player runs past Oakwell Stadium whilst the Barnsley and Bournemouth teams warm up inside, on the day of a Championship football match between Barnsley and AFC Bournemouth in Oakwell, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barnsley, Britain, December 4, 2020. Normally, at this point there would be thousands of people milling about but during lockdown the streets around stadiums are deserted. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDW
March 11, 2021
A portable cabin toilet door is left open outside the bet365 stadium on the day of a Championship football...
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A portable cabin toilet door is left open outside the bet365 stadium on the day of a Championship football match between Stoke City and Sheffield, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDV
March 11, 2021
A heath questionnaire, to gain access to a football match between Manchester City and Newcastle-under-Lyme,...
Newcastle-Under-Lyme, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A heath questionnaire, to gain access to a football match between Manchester City and Newcastle-under-Lyme, is completed on an iPhone, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Staffordshire, Britain, January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDU
March 11, 2021
Preston North End players walk out to the pitch after getting changed before a Championship football...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Preston North End players walk out to the pitch after getting changed before a Championship football match between Birmingham City and Preston North End at St Andrew's, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Birmingham, Britain, January 20, 2021. Many of the away dressing rooms can't be used because of their size making social distancing impossible. This has led to teams getting changed in all sorts of places around the stadiums and walking out to the pitch from unusual places. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDT
March 11, 2021
The Exeter City football team get back on the bus to start their 330 mile trip back home as the football...
Barrow-In-Furness, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
The Exeter City football team get back on the bus to start their 330 mile trip back home as the football match between Barrow and Exeter City was postponed at Holker Street, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barrow-in-Furness, Britain, February 9, 2021. The match was postponed due to a frozen pitch. The referee called it off 30 minutes before the game was meant to start. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDS
March 11, 2021
Social distancing markers are stuck on the floor in the men's toilets in preparation for when fans can...
Derby, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Social distancing markers are stuck on the floor in the men's toilets in preparation for when fans can return to football stadiums, on the day of a Championship football match between Derby County and AFC Bournemouth at Pride Park, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Derby, Britain, January 19, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDR
March 11, 2021
An assistant referee wears rainbow laces as he makes his way to the pitch via the emergency gate, instead...
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
An assistant referee wears rainbow laces as he makes his way to the pitch via the emergency gate, instead of the tunnel, on the day of a Championship football match between Stoke City and Middlesbrough at the bet365 Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, December 5, 2020. The tunnel is for the home team only, everyone else gets changed in different areas of the stadium. He's waiting for the away team who get changed in a temporary building in the car park. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDQ
March 11, 2021
The assistant referee wears a protective face mask before walking to the pitch near Stoke City goalkeeper...
STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
The assistant referee wears a protective face mask before walking to the pitch near Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland on the day of a Championship football match between Stoke City and Middlesbrough at the bet365 Stadium in Stoke-on-Trent, Britain, June 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDP
March 11, 2021
A member of ground staff jumps over the boards, after providing the finishing touches to the goal mouth,...
Morecambe, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A member of ground staff jumps over the boards, after providing the finishing touches to the goal mouth, before a League Two football match between Morecambe and Mansfield Town at Mazuma Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Morecambe, Britain, October 20, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDN
March 11, 2021
A photographer sits in an empty stand during a Championship football match between Blackburn Rovers and...
Blackburn, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A photographer sits in an empty stand during a Championship football match between Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United at Ewood Park, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Blackburn, Britain, July 4, 2020. Normally, positions like these aren't usually available for photographers so they take full advantage to get a different vantage point. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY.
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUF3
March 11, 2021
A steward guards an empty carpark before a Championship football match between Preston North End and...
Preston, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A steward guards an empty carpark before a Championship football match between Preston North End and AFC Bournemouth at Deepdale, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Preston, Britain, March 6, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDM
March 11, 2021
BT Sport pundit Paul Scholes reacts after the side he used to play for, Manchester United, missed a chance...
Leicester, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
BT Sport pundit Paul Scholes reacts after the side he used to play for, Manchester United, missed a chance to score during a Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Leicester, Britain, December 26, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDL
March 11, 2021
The assistant referee wears a protective face mask as he performs a final net check during the second...
Rochdale, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
The assistant referee wears a protective face mask as he performs a final net check during the second round of a Carabao Cup football match between Rochdale and Sheffield Wednesday at The Crown Oil Arena, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rochdale, Britain, September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDK
March 11, 2021
Derby County's Graeme Shinnie scores his penalty against Barrow in the shootout in an empty stadium as...
Derby, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Derby County's Graeme Shinnie scores his penalty against Barrow in the shootout in an empty stadium as Derby progress to the next round of the Carabao Cup at the Pride Park stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Derby, Britain, September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUDB
March 11, 2021
A member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Coaching staff wears a protective face mask and goggles on the...
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
A member of the Wolverhampton Wanderers Coaching staff wears a protective face mask and goggles on the day of a Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion at Molineux Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wolverhampton, Britain, January 16, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUD7
March 11, 2021
England and Wales football players hold a minutes applause for the late World Cup winner Jack Charlton...
London, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
England and Wales football players hold a minutes applause for the late World Cup winner Jack Charlton who passed away, as a mark of respect during an International Friendly football match between England and Wales at Wembley Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in London, Britain, October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUD6
March 11, 2021
West Bromwich Albion's Callum Robinson celebrates scoring a second goal in front of an empty stand on...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
West Bromwich Albion's Callum Robinson celebrates scoring a second goal in front of an empty stand on the day of a Championship football match between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers at The Hawthorns, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in West Bromwich, Britain, July 22, 2020. This game sealed their promotion back to the Premier League and would usually be followed by a pitch invasion, lap of honour and presentation but instead celebrations happened in the carpark with a few hundred fans. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUD5
March 11, 2021
Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady gives his post match interview whilst everyone around him...
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Wolverhampton Wanderers captain Conor Coady gives his post match interview whilst everyone around him wears Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on the day of a Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at Molineux Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Wolverhampton, Britain, February 7, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUC5
March 11, 2021
Manchester United coach Casey Stoney takes part in a socially distanced interview after a Women's Super...
Liverpool, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Manchester United coach Casey Stoney takes part in a socially distanced interview after a Women's Super League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Walton Hall Park, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Liverpool, Britain, January 31, 2021. Reuters/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUC4
March 11, 2021
Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion celebrates promotion to the Premier League with the fans who...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion celebrates promotion to the Premier League with the fans who had gathered outside of the stadium, after Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers in The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain July 22, 2020. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUC3
March 11, 2021
Members of the media walk past a vaccine centre sign as they leave the stadium on the day of a Championship...
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Members of the media walk past a vaccine centre sign as they leave the stadium on the day of a Championship football match between Huddersfield Town and Stoke City at John Smith's Stadium, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Huddersfield, Britain, January 30, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUAU
March 11, 2021
The Soccer Bar is pictured empty as entertainment venues are forced to close due to government restrictions...
Barrow-In-Furness, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
The Soccer Bar is pictured empty as entertainment venues are forced to close due to government restrictions imposed during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on the day of League Two football match between Barrow and Exeter City at Holker Street in Barrow-in-Furness, Britain, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/SOCCER-FANS
RTXABUAT
March 11, 2021
Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion runs out of the stadium to the car park to celebrate promotion...
Birmingham, United Kingdom
The Wider Image: A year without fans lays bare soccer's true soul
Darnell Furlong of West Bromwich Albion runs out of the stadium to the car park to celebrate promotion to the Premier League with the fans who had gathered there after Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers in The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, Britain - July 22, 2020 REUTERS/Carl Recine SEARCH "RECINE FANS" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
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