Premier League to see full stadiums for upcoming season

England will see full capacity stadiums for the upcoming Premier League season, it was confirmed by the UK government on Monday.

File image of the Premier League trophy. (Image: Twitter)

Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lack of fans at sporting events has felt jarring. Events taking place in empty stadiums lacked the feeling people were used to. As time went on, players and fans slowly got accustomed to empty stands. However, with progress being made in fighting the pandemic, allowances are being made. England will, in fact, see full capacity stadiums for the upcoming Premier League season.

This was confirmed by the government on Monday as part of their reopening strategies. As such, football matches across divisions will now see full houses.

“We will move away from legal restrictions and allow people to make their own informed decisions about how to manage the virus,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.

“From step four we will remove all legal limits on the numbers meeting indoors and outdoors. We will allow all businesses to reopen, including nightclubs.

“We will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes and the numbers of people attending concerts, theatre, and sports events.”

Premier League, EFL welcome move

The move was welcomed by the Premier League. “Fans have been hugely missed so we welcome today’s announcement by the Government, and are looking forward to full stadiums in the 2021/22 season.

“As we move towards a Government decision on Step 4 of the roadmap and beyond, we will continue to work with football stakeholders and relevant public authorities to ensure that the return to full capacity is done in a way that keeps everyone safe.”

The EFL also said it was glad to welcome fans back soon. “The EFL welcomes today’s positive announcement by the Prime Minister that capacity restrictions are expected to be lifted later this month, which will allow us to finally press forward with our plans to see a full return of fans to EFL stadiums from the start of the new EFL season in just four weeks’ time.

“Football has been planning for this outcome since the outset of the pandemic and having been forced to endure empty stadiums since March 2020, the message from EFL Clubs is that we are ready to re-open and welcome fans back in numbers.

“From the EFL’s own participation in the Events Research Programme and our Club’s extensive experience built up over many years, we are confident that all our Clubs can successfully manage large scale events and we will continue to work with the Government on the guidance that will help support their matchday operations.

“Today’s developments, of course, have been made possible by the staff at the NHS and countless medical experts and scientists who have helped to develop and roll-out the vaccines. On behalf of the League and its membership, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for playing such an important role in helping re-open our sport and wider society.”

Not a one-off

More and more sporting events in England will see full capacities – or at least close to full. The Euro 2020 semi-finals will see upto 65,000 fans in Wembley.

That’s a big upgrade from the 20-odd thousand who were allowed in during the group stages. But it’s not just limited to football.

The British Grand Prix, the next race in the Formula 1 calendar, will also see a full crowd. The circuit can host upto 140,000 fans, meaning races can expect an amazing atmosphere at Silverstone.

Even cricket matches have seen fans attend – although so far on a limited basis. Nonetheless, an easing of relaxations is on the horizon.

However, it is also worth noting that England is seeing a surge in cases. On July 5, over 27,000 new cases were reported. Given the population of the country, that is a big surge.

For context, India logged a little over 34,000 new cases on Tuesday – despite a much larger population. Thus, it remains to be seen whether or not the reopening in England is viable.

For now though, fans can rejoice at the fact that movement will be a lot more free.

Sportslumo Desk

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