With the Champions League now on the horizon, football enthusiasts can be heard jeering and cheering at their TV screens as the fortnightly qualifying matches began on Tuesday.
Malta VS Estonia
Opening the series of six qualifying matches, Malta’s Hibernians played against Estonia’s FCI Tallinn in the first of such matches, with excitement flooding the atmosphere in bars and in homes. This saw several patrons placing wagers on the outcome of the games, whether opting for the Betfair sportsbook betting offers and the like, or placing discreet bets among each other under the table.
Hibernians scored two goals during the second half of the game, ending the game with 2-0 against their opponents. Hibernians will now put their skills to the test in Estonia on the 4th of July in the second leg of the first qualifying round.
Before that, however, Tuesday’s match was swiftly followed by one between Linfield and La Fiorita on Wednesday night, closing the first leg.
The competition hots up
Thirty-four teams in all will play in the second qualifying round, 29 teams of them that will enter in this round, plus another five who emerged victorious in the first qualifying round. The first leg will be played between the 11th and 12th of July, with the second leg scheduled for the 18th and 19th.
Yet, the areas of congregation for football lovers to celebrate or mourn their favorite teams, namely pubs, restaurants and friends’ living rooms, may expect to feel a slight blow this season; sensing the winds of change in customer behavior in the digital age, sports network Fox Sports announced on Tuesday that it had teamed up with social network site Facebook to live-stream the Champions League matches online, owing to the tendency of internet users to show preference to seek entertainment online rather than through traditional television. Fox Sports, which is owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc, added that some matches will be available exclusively on Facebook and Fox Sports GO – meaning that they will not be shown on television.
Fox Sports already creates original online content for Facebook, including a weekly football show. According to Fox, the Champions League deal with Facebook aims to give the games a wider audience.
“Facebook has one of the most social soccer audiences on the web, and this is going to expose the Champions League to fans who aren’t tuning into a game on TV,” David Nathanson, business operations head at Fox Sports said in an interview.
Don’t miss out!
The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final will be played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine, on 26 May. Whether you are into watching it at home with a few friends, watching in a bar with a few beers, or logging on to place a few bets and try your luck, the Champions League is for sure, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year. Be sure not to miss out!