Fans protest soccer club's new stadium Wi-Fi

Diehard PSV Eindhoven soccer club fans believe everyone should have their eyes on the game, not their phones.

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PSV fans like their banners. And their manners. FootballFansHD/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This weekend, Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., held its first San Francisco 49ers game.

The 49ers management boasts that this is the most high-tech stadium in the US.

I feel sure that some fans of Holland's PSV Eindhoven soccer team would take one look at this stadium and scream: "What a sickeningly oppressive, nauseatingly elitist, bile-inducingly anti-sports, typically Silicon Valley idea."

My certainty comes from protests enacted this weekend by Eindhoven fans who were perturbed that their own stadium had inserted extremely super-duper Wi-Fi.

I know that modern types feel forlorn and shorn of limbs if they are disconnected from the virtual world. And perhaps it's odd to see fans protesting technology at the headquarters of Philips Electronics. Indeed, the stadium is called the Philips Stadion.

As the Guardian reports, however, the noisiest of the Eindhoven faithful held up banners on Sunday, which included: "F*** Wi-Fi, support the team."

What an oddly human notion.

For many these days, the whole point of going to a soccer game is to take selfies and pop them onto Instagram before a ball has been kicked.

Yet here were genuine humans worried that the team would lose vocal support, as too many noses would be pointed floorward, rather than at the game.

There's a social aspect to this, of course. Soccer in Europe has deep roots among the working classes. On the other hand, team owners have deep roots in making their pockets bulge as much as possible.

So they try to attract the more monied, who, like designer-dressed Lebowskis, demand every home comfort.

Sometimes, though, technology can have its drawbacks. Only last week, famed English club Manchester United banned iPads and other larger devices from its stadium. The club cited security concerns, but it's likely they fear games being recorded and large devices being held aloft blocking the view for others.

It's likely that the fans' protest will result in a 1-0 for the club. Standing in the way of "progress" has rarely been a winning proposition.

 

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