– Football fans of about 1000 will be allowed into 10 different match centres
– This is part of the plan to get the supporters back into match venues
– This will be the first time supporters will be allowed since March when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic
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No fewer than 1000 fans each will be allowed into 10 different match centres when action resumes in the English Championship this weekend.
The supporters have been barred from gaining access to watch their favourite teams and players since coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March.
And this has taken a toll on all football clubs, not just in England, but across the globe as their revenues have been greatly affected.
However, as part of plans to start easing the fans into the centres, the league chiefs are said to have agreed with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden that about 1,000 spectators be given access at 10 venues across the three divisions.
Luton’s game against Derby County, Preston’s visit to Norwich and the clash between Middlesbrough and Bournemouth have been selected in the Championship.
While matches between Charlton and Doncaster, Blackpool versus Swindon, Northampton’s trip to Shrewsbury and Hull against Crewe in the League One will see a number of fans at their venues.
Games involving Forest Green, Carlisle and Morecambe will also have some fans at their venues for the first time since March in League Two fixtures.
It is left to be seen if the government is willing to increase the numbers from October 1 due to the recent fears of a resurgence of the virus.
Cambridge were the first club to open their gates with a limited crowd for their EFL Trophy game with Fulham U-21s last week.
But EFL chairman Rick Parry said: “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week.
“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely.
“By extending across more EFL clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.
“The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL Clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions.”
Dowden said: “I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome news that the EFL will be running number capped, COVID-19 secure, and socially distanced pilots this weekend.
“This will help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that football fans were banned from the stadiums since March following the outbreak of the pandemic, however latest information has it that government will allow them to return to the stands as from September.
The Sun reported that a further easing of the lockdown will be implemented by the UK government with strict rules in order to test the possibility of safe return of fans into the stands.
Other sports that will be considered for fans are racing events, rugby as well as the Snooker World Championship.
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