Watching live football abroad: tips and rules.
Fortunately, the days when foreign football could only be followed in specialist magazines are long gone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an additional subscription that you take out with your cable or satellite TV provider or whether you go directly to the Internet: if it is transmitted, it can now be followed by n’ anywhere in the world.
September 29, 2022 – SPORT4FINAL / Frank Zepp:
Watching Football Live Abroad: Yes, hand on heart, when it comes to the true passion of the fans, it can only be partially appeased by watching the screen. Even in today’s digital age, there is simply no substitute for the on-site experience in the stadium.
In principle, this is also possible with relatively low thresholds thanks to cheap flights. However: if you are a foreigner and want to watch football in a stadium abroad, you absolutely must observe a few rules of conduct. Ultimately, above all, for his own safety and not to mistakenly break foreign laws.
This is mainly Turkish football. However, since their teams also play in third countries, of course, we have paid attention to maximum internationalization in the following tips. This means that they can (and should) be observed largely regardless of the country.
Always unavoidable: The subject of Corona
In better times, this first chapter would be no problem. However, with the pandemic still raging around the world, we have to deal with it – on many levels.
- In many countries, special entry rules still apply or could be reintroduced in the very short term. In Turkey it is common (end of July 2022) all very relaxedbut as long as the virus is still circulating, the situation in any country can change quickly again.
- The situation is similar for mass events, which undoubtedly include football in the stadium. Special rules may also apply here and can sometimes change unpredictably.
Of course, hospitality and gastronomy are also part of this topic. The epitome of this: when booking, you should already check whether you can comply with all the rules in force at that time – and keep up to date until the date of travel so that you don’t miss any changes.
While there is an overview of all global rulesbut when in doubt, trust the official websites of the target country’s government, your own foreign ministry or those of the target country’s embassies in your home country.
Finding out only at the airport or even in the country that you are missing a current PCR test or a vaccination dose, for example, is more than annoying.
It is best to book tickets from home
It’s always a problem with stadium tickets. Depending on the country, team and constellation of matches, it may be difficult or impossible for local fans to obtain tickets unless they are season ticket holders.
Of course, the principle of buying a day ticket at the stadium is internationally known. This often doesn’t work because the rush is too big. Merely traveling abroad in the hope of somehow getting your ticket on match day would therefore be grossly negligent.
This is where the Internet comes in handy: it is almost always possible to get your tickets in advance, either directly from the clubs or at least from ticket offices operating internationally.
Naturally, it is strongly recommended to be early and fast on the subject. As for international sales, there are only very limited ticket quotas in many places.
Very important: Under no circumstances should you buy tickets from individuals or supposed resellers on site. This doesn’t just apply to particularly large games. Too often they are either black merchants or scam artists who take big bucks for nothing more than worthless printed paper.
Be careful when choosing a seat
The football of each country knows its rivalries between individual clubs and especially their supporters. However, “relatively harmless conditions” prevail in Germany in this regard. In many other countries things are much more difficult, especially among the teams’ supporters.
Now many of those who travel more to watch football are themselves fans of one of the teams playing it. However, whoever hopes for some kind of “foreign bonus” from opposing supporters often hopes in vain.
This is another reason to buy tickets online in advance: it is often possible to choose at least the stands and the corners. Here we can only advise to research very carefully in advance which fans usually sit where – and far from them both Keep camps as far apart as possible, even if you belong to one.
It has to do with security: a foreigner usually doesn’t know all the fan conventions. And depending on the country and the club, it is unfortunately very easy to provoke others unintentionally – and possibly to be treated with more than harsh words. Unfortunately, the list of foreign fans who ended their visit to the stadium in hospital or at the police station because they misbehaved is quite long in all countries.
Sports betting and Co. only at home
No one intentionally wants to get in trouble with the law. Especially not abroad, where sometimes completely different legal systems, conditions and laws are common. When it comes to gambling and especially sports betting, foreign fans are generally better off with one maxim:
If you want to spice up your trip with a few euros on the outcome of the game, then it should be done entirely from German soil. here legal certainty finally exists since 2021a new state gambling treaty applies and sports betting is definitely legal.
In practice, there are therefore two options:
- Bets are placed in person before the home start or
- you contact an acquaintance at home in the destination country who does this for you.
Only then can we be absolutely certain that no law will be broken. Even calling a (German) sports betting site in the target country can sometimes be illegal (or even blocked by bans). Although you are a foreigner there, you are of course still subject to local laws.
Extreme caution before going to sports bars
Would it be a good idea to accidentally walk into a bar firmly in the hands of Fenerbahçe fans in Istanbul wearing Galatasaray caps and jerseys? Anyone who understands this issue also understands how easy it is for foreign football fans to find themselves in really sticky situations in their destination country. Therefore, a few important rules must be observed, especially outside the stadium:
- At least in the immediate vicinity of the match, it’s best not to wear any visible fan clothing – after all, you never know who you’ll meet where.
- Real caution when going to clearly identifiable sports bars. In many countries, these are dominated by supporters of a particular team. If you are not one of them, even in neutral clothes, you only have to applaud “falsely” at a goal on the screen to be in real danger.
If you’re a foreign fan and want to party abroad before or after the game, you should stick to restaurants that are known for their international clientele. When in doubt, the hotel bar offers a safe place to go.
Very important: Many states have specific rules regarding the public consumption or open transportation of alcohol (in the United States, for example, it may even vary from county to county). It is therefore safer to know these rules in detail before traveling and – again – to only enjoy them in international destinations.
Learn the most important terms before you go
soccer is proven to be the most international sport in the world. In practice, fans traveling abroad will therefore get along in the vast majority of countries with the most international language in the world, English.
However, when it comes to the sport itself and the language surrounding it, those who like to travel should try to memorize the most important country-specific terms in spoken and written form at home.
Of course, this will hardly be enough for communication. But it makes it easier, for example, to understand the safety instructions or read the signs at the entrance to the stadium. Especially since English is global, but not everyone speaks it – even football stadium employees.
Traveling as a supporter of a foreign team in their home country or in a third country where the team plays can be an extremely fun experience. However, as football is associated with so much passion in the world, you should always keep your own safety at the center of your concerns. As a foreigner abroad, it is easy to unintentionally offend on different levels.
But while that can easily be avoided with laws, it’s much trickier with high-flying fan emotions. A good fan therefore always plays it safe and, while having fun, focuses on caution.