One step closer! Government officials happy with football’s first pilot for return of spectators and will now push on with plans for fans to be back from October
- The Government are pleased with success of football’s pilot for return of fans
- Brighton hosted a friendly against Chelsea with 2,500 fans at the Amex Stadium
- The event was closely observed by DCMS who will liaise with experts this week
- Plans are already in place to open turnstiles to fans across sports in September
Government officials are pleased with the success of football’s first pilot for the return of spectators and continue to work towards welcoming socially distanced crowds back inside grounds from the start of October.
The event was closely observed by DCMS (the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) and they will liaise this week with experts from the Sports Grounds Safety Authority about scaling up the pilot schemes.
The Government are pleased with success of football’s first pilot for the return of spectators
2,500 fans were present to watch Brighton take on Chelsea in a pre-season clash on Saturday
Plans are already in place to open turnstiles to restricted audiences across various sports throughout September.
Selected events include a Premiership rugby fixture between Harlequins and Bath, cricket matches in the Bob Willis Trophy and T20 Blast, a basketball friendly at Newcastle, speedway at Ipswich and horseracing at Doncaster, Warwick and Newmarket.
In football, West Ham have a capacity of 1,000 fans for the Women’s Super League fixture against Arsenal, at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Road, on September 12.
The Football Association hope to invite a crowd of about 10,000 into Wembley Stadium for the Trophy and Vase finals on September 20.
Plans are already in place to open turnstiles to fans across sports throughout September
First, they have to squeeze the semi-finals, which are pencilled-in for the week beginning September 14.
For clubs at this level, the return of paying spectators is vital.
Much could still depend on the rates of infection in wider society, with schools set to return from next week, but if all goes smoothly the Government would like to give the green light to some fans inside the grounds from October.
There is an international break after the Premier League fixtures on October 3 when England have a friendly against Wales, already been mooted as the first for the Three Lions in front of fans since last November.