The UK government and parliament will formally debate on Monday 9 November whether football stadiums should be at least partially reopened to fans at all levels of the game.
As a result of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, football stadiums have been closed to the public since March and all games have been banned from a handful of test events played behind closed doors.
Brighton hold a test event for fans during a pre-season friendly against Chelsea / GLYN KIRK/Getty Images
There were plans to gradually allow a limited number of fans to watch live games from earlier this month, only to be postponed over concerns of a growing number of cases.
There has been continued criticism of the forced closure of football stadiums and other outdoor sporting venues, particularly as many indoor aspects of normal life have resumed in some capacity, including the reopening of cinemas, pubs, bars and restaurants.
A petition lobbying the UK government to ‘allow football fans to attend matches at all levels’ has gained the attention it needs and will be debated in just three weeks’ time. Any petition needs at least 100,000 signatures to qualify for a formal debate in the UK Parliament and, at the time of writing, this petition is almost double that at just under 197,000.
He argues: “Football is a powerful tool that brings a range of benefits such as employment and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, passion and dedication throughout the community. There are several economic benefits associated with attending football games.
The move to reopen stadiums has been backed by clubs and various bodies within the game, with the Premier League, FA, EFL, WSL and Women’s Championship publishing a collective open letter to the government last week. He insisted on reopening the stadium.
“With the EFL, Premier League, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship having already held 11 successful Test events recently, we have proven we can deliver matches safely. can return, the sooner we can reunify communities and support local jobs, livelihoods, regional businesses and the national economy,” the open letter explained.
“We will continue to urge the government to allow us fans to safely return to stadiums. It is a positive development that major arts and music venues have been told to hold socially distanced events indoors. And football should now be allowed to do the same – in a highly structured and organized outdoor environment.
UK government to discuss reopening football stadiums to fans/WPA Poll/Getty Images
Although outdoors is considered safer than indoors, in reality watching the game at a distance will not be a significant barrier to the safe return of fans. The biggest issue is getting people to the venues and then being able to navigate safely in and out of the stadium before and after.
In the open letter, proposed measures to make stadiums safe for the return of fans include screening of supporters on arrival, temperature checks, mask requirements, one-way systems, a code of conduct that everyone must follow and deep Cleaning is included. methods.
At least one Premier League club has undertaken a risk assessment on the use of one-way systems on queues and gangways to ensure fans do not cross paths to get to and from seats.
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