Football
Football

Jeonju, South Korea: The towering stands of the 42,477-capacity Jeonju World Cup Stadium stood empty on Friday as South Korea opened football's post-coronavirus era without fans, but with an unprecedented international TV audience.

With most leagues worldwide side-lined by the pandemic, the K-League is the first competition of any standing to come back to life and a host of safety precautions have been imposed, with wild goal celebrations and even talking discouraged.

The long-delayed season opener between defending champions Jeonbuk Motors and Cup-holders Suwon Bluewings will be watched by sport-starved fans in a swathe of foreign countries, even though spectators are not yet allowed at K-League games.

Ahead of the match only the media section of the stadium, which hosted three matches of the 2002 World Cup, was occupied, and rather than cheers of anticipation, the only sound was chatter among journalists and staff.

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