Premier League fans trickle back

Premier League fans trickle back

Avoid singing and hugging, league advises as 2,000 allowed to watch West Ham vs Man U

Football fans are pictured on a giant screen in the empty London Stadium ahead of the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City on Oct 24. (Pool Photo via AFP)
Football fans are pictured on a giant screen in the empty London Stadium ahead of the Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester City on Oct 24. (Pool Photo via AFP)

LONDON: Premier League chiefs have warned fans to avoid “excessive singing” and hugging as supporters return to English top-flight football matches for the first time since March.

West Ham are preparing to host the season’s first Premier League match with spectators present when they welcome Manchester United in Saturday’s evening match.

Government restrictions intended to prevent the coronavirus mean just 2,000 fans will be allowed in to watch the match at the London Stadium, which was scheduled to kick off at 1730 GMT (12.30am Sunday Thailand time).

London Stadium, the main site of the 2012 Summer Olympics, has a seating capacity of 80,000.

Chelsea’s match against Leeds at Stamford Bridge, which starts at 2000 GMT, will also have 2,000 fans present.

The Premier League issued advice on safety measures on Saturday, including a warning for fans not to get carried away when their team scores a goal.

“Fans can celebrate but should remain socially distanced from people outside their social bubble,” said the advice.

“Hugging of other fans and high-fives should be avoided and fans are asked to be respectful to those around them, including avoiding excessive shouting or singing.”

The statement from the Premier League said clubs had missed the presence of fans, who have been absent since the coronavirus shutdown in March.

Supporters have to complete a health questionnaire and face temperature checks at the ground. They also have to wear face coverings.

Fans will sit in socially distanced seats, except for families or “household bubbles”.

London and Liverpool are among the areas placed in the Tier-2 category based on Covid-19 rates, meaning up to 2,000 fans will be able to attend matches.

But clubs based in Tier-3 areas, such as Manchester and Birmingham, are still not allowed to open their gates.


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