Today’s match in Tripoli’s soccer stadium went largely unwatched.
Thousands of seats were empty:
The only fans in sight could be counted on one hand:
Fearing violence between supporters due to the politicization of teams, audiences were banned from watching matches for several years following the killing of Rafik Hariri in 2005. But the ban has been periodically lifted and then re-imposed for sometimes vague reasons.
Even when the ban has not been in place, some argue that a chilling effect has been imposed on audiences and teams. That today’s match began around 3PM on a Friday when most people are at work, probably does not help either.
All this must be very dispiriting to the players.