Football

Red Bull Salzburg's coronation in the coronavirus era

White circles on the red canvas to mark out where each player should stand during the trophy ceremony. No handshakes with dignitaries as players lined up to pick up his own medal.

This was Red Bull Salzburg's socially distanced coronation party, following their Austrian Cup triumph last Friday, and it could be the new normal amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The OFB Cup final marked the return of football in Austria after the coronavirus-induced stoppage, with Salzburg cruising to a 5-0 win over second-tier outfit Austria Lustenau behind closed doors at the Woerthersee Stadium.

With safe distancing measures in place, the back-to-back champions celebrated their victory in a unique manner.

After the match, players from both sides took turns to pick up their medals. Salzburg's players then made their way to the canvas and stood on white circles which ensured that they were at least one metre apart.

The players made sure that they stayed within the demarcated spots even while jumping in delight as captain Andreas Ulmer lifted the trophy.

Salzburg supporters caught the action at a drive-in cinema, as their side stormed to victory through five different scorers

Goals from Dominik Szoboszlai, Dominik Stumberger (own goal), Noah Okafor, Majeed Ashimeru and Sekou Koita 0game gave American coach Jesse Marsch his first piece of silverware in his debut season.

There could be more of such novel celebrations, should the Austrian Bundesliga leaders clinch the title, when the league resumes tomorrow.

Salzburg were handed a boost in their title quest after previous leaders LASK Linz were docked six points last Thursday for holding team training sessions when only small-group sessions were permitted.

LASK, now three points behind Salzburg with 10 games left, have filed an appeal.

Football