Soccer commentator forced to call German games from London

LONDON (AP) – The resumption of the German football league has put players back on the pitch, coaches back on the sideline and commentators back on the stand.

The booth, however, can be anywhere.


Dan O’Hagan is a veteran football commentator who has called for matches at the World Cup, the English Premier League, the Italian League and even the Japanese League, among many others. He also plays in the Bundesliga in English, but on Saturday he was working in a small studio in North London due to travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Normally, we were in Cologne, playing these games in Germany," said O & # 39; Hagan from the studio in the same building that houses the Associated Press. “Obviously it's not possible now, but making games from the studios for most commentators is now almost second nature. So it doesn't really present a new challenge. "

The big challenge came last week, when Germany became the first country to restart a major football league in the midst of the pandemic, albeit in empty stadiums and with protocols of social distance.


It wasn't just the players who got out of practice.

"I think it was eight weeks without working," said O & # 39; Hagan, "so I was a little worried that it was a little rusty."


One of the most important elements for O & # 39; Hagan during the resumption was maintaining the right balance between football and the deadly effects of the virus around the world.

Germany appears to have dealt with the pandemic better than many other large countries, but it still registered more than 8,000 deaths.

"We want to set the right tone because it is a very serious global situation, so we want to ensure that our coverage respectfully reflects the tone and also the measures taken by the German football league to ensure that matches are played safely" O & # 39; Hagan said.

"The German game did everything possible to start the games, so we feel a responsibility to portray the league in a way that shows these efforts."

Remote commentators have no control over the images they need to talk about, but that is normal when calling games from a studio, O & # 39; Hagan said.

The strange aspect of these games in particular, however, is the empty stadiums.

"OK, there are no fans there, but the photos are still the ones we would get in terms of angles, number of cameras and close-ups," said O & # 39; Hagan. "So there is no big difference in calling the game here, in Cologne or at the stadium."


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