COVID-19 Spike Shelves Supporter Return

  • September 22, 2020 | By Chris Mann
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Plans to introduce a phased return of sporting crowds have been shelved by the Government, amid a sharp rise of COVID-19 cases throughout the United Kingdom.

Following a number of pilot events in the most recent round of EFL fixtures, where upwards of 1,000 spectactors were granted entry into selected stadia, it had been anticipated that higher numbers could be permitted to attend matches from October 1 whilst conforming to strict social distancing measures.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation at 8pm on Tuesday to officially confirm the latest restrictions placed upon a number of everyday activities, although his Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove earlier revealed difficult decisions have had to be made due to decisions and potential mistakes made this past March - when large gatherings continued to attend sporting events.

"It was the case that we were looking at a staged programme of more people returning," Gove told BBC Breakfast.

"It wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadia thronged with fans.

"We are looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme.

"But what we do want to do is make sure that as and when the circumstances allow, we get more people back because the virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors.

"It is in the nature of major sporting events that there is a lot of mingling and people look back at the start of the pandemic and some of the major sporting events that happened then and ask the question: Why were they allowed to go ahead?

"One of the things we have to do now - whatever the wisdom of the decisions made then - is to look at sporting events now with caution.

"But of course we also recognise that sport is a vital part of the life of this nation and we are looking at everything we can do to support our athletes, our great clubs, through what will be a challenging time."

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
7 Plymouth Argyle 46 80
8 Oxford United 46 76
9 Bolton Wanderers 46 73
10 Portsmouth 46 73
11 Ipswich Town 46 70
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