Last updated on November 2, 2019
Romania confronted Norway within its European Championship 2020 qualifier game on Tuesday in Bucharest, but the vast majority of the spectators seeing were below 14 years of age.
Nearly 30,000 kids watched the match, far exceeds the number of adults at Bucharest’s National Arena.
Romania was sanctioned for stereotypical behavior by UEFA in previous games and the match against Norway was played’ behind closed doors’ without the spectators in attendance.
But under Article 73 of all UEFA’s Disciplinary Regulations, “kids around age 14 (duly accompanied) from colleges and soccer academies encouraged to the game free of charge.”
In the invitation of the Romanian Football Federation, a total of 29,854 crowds filled the scene, the majority of these kids, using an adult accompanying each 10 kids according to UEFA regulations.
This allegedly set a new record for the amount of all child-supporters present in an official European game.
Journalists attending the match noted on social websites that no booing may be heard within the national anthem.
After the game, Romanian players took on the pitch using a banner thanking those in attendance for their service.
“The innocence of kids highlights the value of diversity and inclusion”
Before this week, UEFA also declared that charges could be brought against Bulgaria later England players were allegedly exposed to racist chanting in their game in Sofia.
“The innocence of kids highlights the value of diversity and inclusion that are adopted by the Romanian Football Federation in all of its actions.”
“Opposed to the extremism of both ultras, the emotion and joy excreted by the kids throughout the game communicate a concept of education of the general public in the spirit of love to the match.”
It’s not the first event European clubs and countries have invited children to attend games behind closed doors, but critics have questioned if that may solve the growing issue of racism in soccer.
A spokesperson from Romanian Football Federation advised Euronews that combating xenophobia and racism”can’t be accomplished alone”.
“We want all of the support in the public government and from the civil society and businesses which take part with the domain”
The game between Romania and Norway ended 1-1.