Omiya Ardija traveled the 316 miles to Tokushima Vortis for a J-League Cup qualification match, but given the distance and the fact that it was in the middle of the week, many of the club's supporters could not make the journey. But the few who did attend came up with a brilliant idea to make it look like they had bigger numbers with them.
The creatively inclined Omiya supporters set up vaguely people shaped cardboard cutouts in their section to fill the space. They dressed their inanimate friends mainly in the club's shirts, but there were also a few wearing similarly colored Hawaiian shirts and Yomiuri Giants baseball jerseys. Though most of the cutouts were faceless, one did have a nice little smile drawn on.
Fake fans at matches are not a new concept — Serie B club Triestina tried to make their excessively large stadium look a bit less barren with "virtual spectators" in the form of giant tarps depicting fans in the seats a few years ago. But the handmade quality of the ones Omiya fans made gave them far more charm.
The match ended in a 1-1 draw. Thankfully the cardboard people did not invade the pitch.
Thanks to Dave and RocketNews24 for the tip!
- - - - - - -