FA announces limited number of spectators will be permitted to attend matches

PUBLISHED: 14:45 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:45 19 August 2020

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0231. Picture: Terry Ife

Exmouth Town at home to Barnstaple in a FA Cup game. Ref exsp 33 19TI 0231. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

The FA has announced that a limited number of fans will be able to watch non-league games from this weekend.

The number of fans must not exceed more than 15 per cent of the minimum ground grading capacity and this number will rise to 30 on August 31 depending on certain conditions.

In the statement, the FA said: “We have today (August 19) issued updated guidelines for the National League System (NLS) and Women’s Football Pyramid (WFP) that include a phased and limited return of spectators for clubs at steps three to six and tiers three to four respectively.

“We have worked continuously alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and leagues to submit detailed proposals for a phased and limited return of spectators at these levels to the UK Government.

“The DCMS has now clarified its guidance on the return to recreational team sport and clubs at steps three to six of the NLS and tiers three to four of the WFP are permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators to fixtures. However, they must follow the UK Government’s guidance in relation to Covid-19 and the FA’s updated guidelines for the NLS or WFP respectively.

“In addition, regional NLS feeder league clubs and clubs at tiers five to six of the WFP are permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators in line with our guidelines for grassroots football.

“All clubs at steps three to six of the NLS and tiers three to four of the WFP are required to have a designated Covid-19 officer, complete and publish bespoke risk assessments and action plans and arrange support for Track and Trace efforts before implementing the following.”

The FA has stipulated that between August 22 and August 30, spectators will be limited to 15 per cent which will be known as stage one.

Clubs will then be allowed 30 per cent from August 31, known as stage two, but must have played at least one pre-season or competitive fixture under the stage one guidelines.


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