The British government has decided not to allow fans to attend sporting events for the time being. Due to the increasing number of corona cases, matches are played behind closed doors until further notice.
Fans welcome at test events in recent weeks
Initially, the plan was to allow spectators to attend sporting events again from 1 October. It would then be about 25 to 33 percent of the total capacity in stadiums, but that plan is being postponed.
The warning level in the United Kingdom regarding the coronavirus was already scaled up on Tuesday from level 3 to level 4, which means that the number of infections, according to medical experts, is “high” or “growing exponentially”.
“We wanted to welcome some spectators again, but at the moment we are in the process of ending that program,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Michael Gove confirmed on Tuesday at the BBC. “We hope to allow more audiences when conditions allow.”
“It is true that the virus spreads less quickly in the open air than in an enclosed space. But at major sporting events you quickly see that there is a lot of mixing between spectators.”
As part of the government’s program, spectators have already been welcome at various sports competitions in recent weeks. Three hundred fans were allowed to be present at the final of the World Cup snooker in Sheffield, although there was a lot of criticism.
West Ham United-Arsenal in the Women’s Super League was also one of the events included in the pilot. A total of 739 supporters in the Chigwell Construction Stadium witnessed the 1-9 victory of the club of Vivianne Miedema and Jill Roord.
The government’s decision is bad news for the Premier League clubs, among others, which are missing out on a lot of income due to the lack of fans. In a number of other football competitions, such as the Eredivisie, spectators are already welcome.