Welsh Government paves way for the return of spectators – about time!

Games with fans allowed to watch……Remember them?

The FAW has welcomed the latest Welsh Government announcement regarding the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Welsh Government says crowds of up to 10,000 will be allowed back at sporting stadiums from this Monday, 7 June.

The announcement paves the way for the return of spectators at football matches as well as the return of tournaments and festivals.

In a statement, the national body said: “The FAW awaits further information and formal guidance on these developments from Welsh Government, which are anticipated to be available next week.

“Once in place, updated Return to Play protocols and guidance will be prepared and shared across our football family.

“The FAW National League Board (NLB) has approved the FAW Return to Spectating Regulations and these will be published in due course to the COVID-19 Hub.

“The NLB has also agreed that the FAW should run test events in the coming weeks before a full return to spectators in order to protect the well-being of all supporters over a longer period of time.”

The Welsh Government’s announcement means large outdoor events such as sports matches and organised runs can go ahead for up to 4,000 people when not seated, and 10,000 when seated.

Parkrun events and other organised running groups could also resume.

Further news is awaited on how the announcement affects grassroots sport.

Grassroots North Wales comment

Not for the first time, the Welsh Government’s slowness to act is to the detriment of grassroots football.

Last weekend, Caernarfon Town had to play the biggest game in their history behind closed doors.

Spectators were allowed to cram into the clubhouse near the pitch to watch the Euro Play-Off final between Caernarfon and Newtown on TV, yet were prohibited from seeing the action from the stands.

So much for social distancing!

There would have been a huge crowd inside the ground if the Welsh Government had given the go ahead for the final to be a test event. First Minister Mark Drakeford refused, instead allowing all test events to be South Wales based.

Allowing fans in would have provided a welcome financial boost to Caernarfon, who have been most affected by the BCD policy throughout the 2020-21 season as they attract the largest attendances in the league.

Once more the stable door is closed after the horse has bolted.

It still remains to be seen just how much the shutdown of North Wales football over the past 15 months affects our leagues, but some clubs have folded already and others could follow.

Fans back in by the time the domestic seasons for North Wales clubs begin in July – that’s what we want.

Copyright Dave Jones © All rights reserved. CoverNews by AF themes.
%d bloggers like this: