The SFA have decided not to feature crowd noise for Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final between Celtic and Aberdeen, the Daily Record has reported.
Celtic have taken the decision to filter through artificial crowd noise for their home matches this season. This has helped to add a more natural sound to the games, and has likely had a positive effect on the players too.
The same noise has been played at Hearts and Hibernian’s stadiums this season also – both of whom will feature in Saturday’s semi-final clash. That game also won’t have any crowd noise added, the Record reports.
Aberdeen, meanwhile, may be more used to the silent treatment. Pittodrie hasn’t had any fake crowd noises filter through the PA system all season – something that was noticeable during Sunday’s 3-3 draw with the Hoops.
And it’ll, unfortunately, be the same again at Hampden this weekend. The game was originally scheduled to take place in April with a capacity crowd, but instead a depressing silence will sweep the national stadium.
Crowd noises aren’t perfect, but they do fill a hole
For me, crowd noises do add something to the game – even if they’re artificial. There’s something just not right about watching a football match with absolutely no atmosphere to it whatsoever.
Watching the game at the weekend – it was the perfect example. A blistering 3-3 draw at Pittodrie that still managed to feel lifeless due to a lack of a crowd in attendance. At the very least, fake noises add a bit of normality for both the players and the viewer. It paints an illusion that, whilst we all know it’s fake, adds a little layer of what we like best about football back into the game.
Sure, it can be worked on. It doesn’t help that crowds can sometimes start cheering between three to five seconds after a goal has been scored. Or that a trundling, weak effort that goes straight to the goalkeeper is met with “OOOOHHHH” sounds from the PA systems.
But you would surely rather that than absolutely nothing at all. When a ball hits the net, you just don’t get that same buzz, and goodness knows what Hampden is going to sound like at the weekend.
Neil Lennon won’t lose any sleep over it of course. His preparations won’t be affected by this decision either way, but from a viewing perspective, it takes something away from the game.
Considering the times we live in, surely adding any form of acceptable normality back into football should be entertained.