Football working group is working on guidelines for restarting competition with fans: “We are certainly optimistic”

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A joint working group of the Football Cell, RBFA, Pro League, professional clubs and police is working on various scenarios for the restart of the competition, with and without spectators. The National Security Council gave the green light on Wednesday to allow at least 800 and possibly more football fans in the stadiums from August.

ALSO READ. Audience in football stadiums again? But who then, and how? This means the decision of the security council for the competition

“This is new information for us now. The working group should include this in the scripts, but we are optimistic, ”says spokesman Stijn Van Bever of the Pro League.

The ball in Belgian football rolls again on August 1 with the cup final between Club Brugge and Antwerp. A day later, Leuven and Beerschot complete the promotion final in 1B. The Jupiler Pro League will start again on August 7. Full stadiums have been ruled out by the corona crisis, but the National Security Council allowed limited capacity on Wednesday.

As of August, sports organizers are allowed to receive 800 outdoor fans, that number is cut in half for indoor events. Infrastructures where the public is seated, such as football stadiums, may require an exception to the maximum capacity. They must submit a well-substantiated file for this. “Not only the number of seats is important. It depends on the stadium, how you guide people to their place and how you organize the rest, ”Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon (N-VA) tells VRT NWS. “We will then work with the organizers to see whether the capacity can be expanded under certain conditions.”

A working group with safety coordinators, the football cell and the police, has been drawing up guidelines on possible supporters in the football stadiums since 11 June. In earlier plans by Flemish Minister of Sport Ben Weyts (N-VA), it was already mentioned that from 1 August, a maximum of 2,000 supporters could be admitted with respect for the 1.5 meter distance. The National Security Council is already opening the door, possibly even for even greater occupation.

Every stadium is different

“This is new information for us. The working group, which is still working, will evaluate this. In any case, we are optimistic ”, says Van Bever. “The working group will come up with a number of generic guidelines. They are logical and inherent in football. The most important is the control of the flows: who enters, who leaves and how we guide those people. That is of course not the same for every club. The capacity in our stadiums varies from 6,000 to 30,000 supporters. Every stadium is different, so clubs will have to assess the safety risks together with local authorities. ”

When the working group will land with the guidelines, spokesman Van Bever cannot say yet.

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