Fans to attend Brighton-Chelsea football friendly match
Spectators will be allowed to attend a preseason match between Premier League teams Brighton and Chelsea on Saturday as part of the latest series of sporting events being used to pilot the safe return of fans in England amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The game will take place at Brighton’s Amex Stadium, with 2,500 tickets being made available for fans, the club said Wednesday. Other events used in the pilot include a top-division rugby game between Harlequins and Bath on September 5, the St. Leger horse race — one of the flat-racing’s so-called “classics” — at Doncaster on September 9, and a Women’s Super League football match between West Ham and Arsenal on September 12.
The British government said “capacity limits… will vary based on individual venues and events, with further pilots to be announced in due course.”
The government hopes there can be a full reopening of stadiums for fans in October. “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,” said Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called off previously planned pilot events with some fans in attendance during the first two weeks of August amid fears over the coronavirus infection rate.
A new pilot process began in the middle of the month, with around 300 spectators attending the final two days of the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.