The absence of supporters in stadiums looks like it will be commonplace as football emerges from the coronavirus crisis, but one South Korean team has found a novel way of filling their thousands of empty seats – sex dolls.

Football is slowly emerging from its COVID-19 hibernation and the German Bundesliga resumed on Saturday with a full schedule of socially distant football. But even with the return of the beautiful game, some fans couldn’t ignore the fact that holding games in cavernous, empty stadia feels a little, well, wrong.

However, FC Seoul came up with an unorthodox solution to this problem ahead of Sunday’s fixture with Gwangju FC, as they filled their stadium with eerily-lifelike mannequins – which many have suggested on social media are in fact life-size sex dolls – some of whom were reportedly holding placards promoting a local adult shop. 

We have heard of the concept of ‘plastic fans’, but this takes the phrase to a whole new level.

Who doesn’t love the #KLeague1? Sex dolls as supporters. Genius.

FC Seoul put these mannequin supporters in stands which was also tried by Dinamo Brest.But there is a strong conviction that these ‘fans’ are actually ‘sex dolls’ made by a sex doll company. Hope it is not true, but if it is, it’ll be a huge shame.

The club has also looked to add further elements of realism to the game by pumping recorded crowd noise into the stadium in a bid to make the lack of supporters a little less evident. 

Belarusian side Dinamo Brest also opted for a similar approach by having mannequins substitute for real fans for their home matches, as the club’s general director Vladimir Machulski recently told RT Sport.

Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach, meanwhile, went a slightly different route by arranging for fans to be able to have printouts of their face applied to a cardboard cutout inside the stands. 

The South Korean K-League resumed play a week ago in a country that has seen significant success relative to other countries in overcoming the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. South Korea has registered just over 11,000 confirmed cases of the virus and just 262 deaths as of late this week.