A Women’s Super League fixture between West Ham and Arsenal plus a Brighton men’s friendly this weekend are among a list of sporting events which will act as new test events for spectators.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed a raft of new events where spectators would be admitted on a socially-distanced basis, following the ban on mass gatherings introduced in March due to the coronavirus outbreak. The events, which cover football, rugby union, horse racing, cricket, basketball and speedway, will take place over the course of the remainder of August and September.
The WSL fixture between West Ham and Arsenal on 13 September is among them, along with Brighton men’s game against Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on Saturday and a Lewes versus London Bees women’s friendly. Non-league finals day at Wembley on 20 September will also admit a limited number of spectators, DCMS said.
The Premiership fixture between Harlequins and Bath at the Twickenham Stoop on 5 September has been selected, as have racing meetings at Doncaster (the St Leger on 9 September), Warwick on 21 September and Newmarket on 24 September.
Cricket matches in the Bob Willis Trophy and T20 Blast are set for selection, with specific fixtures still to be confirmed. A British Basketball League friendly in Newcastle on 18 September will also feature spectators, as will a speedway event at Ipswich on 26 September.
Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said: “I know fans and their teams can’t wait to be reunited in stadia across the country but it’s imperative we take a cautious and phased approach to get fans back in safely.
“I’m pleased that infection rates have levelled off enough to resume the pilot programme and we will continue to work intensively with sports, medical and health and safety experts towards welcoming more fans back as fast as we can.”
Source: The Guardian