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UEFA removes 30% spectator limit on games

17:25 BST 31/03/2021
Aleksander Ceferin UEFA Champions League
The organisation has lifted restrictions on attendances in favour of allowing each association to impose its own protocols

UEFA has lifted its previous restrictions on stadium crowd sizes, the European governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

Teams participating in competitions organised by UEFA have since October been limited to opening 30 per cent of their capacities to supporters. 

The measures were introduced as a reaction to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with most professional games continuing to be played behind closed doors.

What was said?  

"The UEFA executive committee reviewed its decision of 1 October 2020 whereby it allowed the return of spectators to UEFA matches up to 30% cent of capacity," the organisation explained in a statement released on Wednesday.

"The committee decided that in light of the fact that each of UEFA's 55 members associations faces a different situation with regard to tackling the pandemic, such a cap is no longer needed and that the decision on the number of permitted spectators should fall under the exclusive responsibility of the relevant competent local/national authorities.

"Consequently, the previously UEFA-imposed spectator attendance limit of a maximum of 30% of the relevant stadium's seating capacity is lifted, as well as the prohibition for spectators to attend futsal matches.

"However, in view of the ongoing travel restrictions and in order to enact reasonable and responsible policies to minimize Covid-19 related risks, the executive committee decided to confirm the decision of 1 October 2020 insofar that visiting fans are not allowed to attend UEFA competition matches. This is valid until prior to the club competition finals taking place in May 2021.

"The UEFA Minimum Health & Hygiene Requirements for the Return of Spectators have been amended to reflect this new decision, which comes into force as of tomorrow."

The return of fans? 

While UEFA has dropped its restrictions, spectator bans remain in place across Europe, meaning that this ruling is unlikely to take immediate effect. 

Supporters are currently barred from attending matches in all of the continent's biggest five leagues, due to the second wave of coronavirus cases that began in December and January in the northern hemisphere.  

In the Premier League, authorities are hoping to open stadiums on a partial basis from mid-May onwards, to coincide with the final rounds of the current season. 

La Liga and Serie A have also announced tentative plans to allow fans back in limited numbers before 2020-21 comes to an end. 

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