The planned return of spectators to sports venues in England from next month has been put on hold for six months, due to fears over a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a range of restrictions on Tuesday, including those related to mass gatherings.
The majority of sports in England have been played behind closed doors since the coronavirus lockdown in March, including Premier League football, the FA Cup final, England’s Test cricket matches and two Formula 1 races at Silverstone.
“We have to acknowledge that the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen business conferences, exhibitions and large sporting events,” said Johnson.
“So we will not be able to do this from October 1 and I recognise the implications for our sports clubs which are the life and soul of our communities.
“”We will spare no effort in developing vaccines, treatments, new forms of mass-testing but unless we palpably make progress we should assume that the restrictions that I have announced will remain in place for perhaps six months.” He said.
The Premier League, who wrote to the government earlier this month to say around £100m per month was being lost by clubs across the leagues while matches continued behind closed doors, released a statement saying they believed they could still host fans safely despite rising cases.
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By Ofhani Munyai