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Latest from Germany and France points to a long time before football fans in England back in stadiums

4 weeks ago
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There is a parliamentary debate scheduled for Monday 9 November 2020, to discuss the subject of Premier League clubs and those in the leagues below, being allowed to have fans back in stadiums.

It was Parliament’s Petitions Committee who named the date when parliament will debate the proposal to allow football fans back into stadiums ‘at all levels’ in England.

A petition was launched earlier this month and quickly got the 100,000 signatures (it later reached 200,000) needed to trigger the point where Parliament’s Petitions Committee had to consider deciding whether to have a debate.

The was then a Government response, the statement (see below) read: ‘We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadia but this must clearly be done carefully against the prevailing health conditions.’

So basically, the debate will happen on 9 November 2020 BUT there is no chance of any return for fans in the Premier League and the leagues below, in the foreseeable future.

Now we have news from other countries that suggests strongly that fans returning to stadiums in England is looking ever further away.

BBC Sport report:

Football fans in Germany will again be banned from attending matches as part of new measures to combat rising coronavirus cases in the country.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said the rule on professional sport will come in to force on Monday, 2 November.

The Bundesliga became the first major European football league to restart after the coronavirus shutdown in May.

Supporters in Germany have been allowed to attend games in limited numbers since mid-September.

Germany’s cases of Covid-19 rose by 14,964 to 464,239 in the last 24 hours as the number of deaths increased by 85 to 10,183.

The German Football League (DFL) said on Wednesday it regretted the move, after Bundesliga and second division Bundesliga clubs had developed a plan for the protection of supporters in stadiums, which had been agreed with local health authorities.

The DFL said: “Fans and clubs then stuck to the rules with discipline, living up to their responsibilities. That is why it is regrettable that this will not be possible for now.”

France have also declared a new national lockdown, even more severe than the one in Germany.

President Macron declaring that under the new measures, starting on Friday, people would only be allowed to leave home for essential work or medical reasons.

Pretty safe to say that fans going to watch football in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 will no longer be happening.

Government statement in response to the petition and ahead of the parliamentary debate:

‘We will take the earliest opportunity to look again at getting spectators safely back into stadia but this must clearly be done carefully against the prevailing health conditions.

Football clubs form the bedrock of our communities and play a vital role in the local economy. Their importance has been clearly demonstrated throughout the pandemic with clubs at all levels providing incredible support to their area.

That is why the Government is committed to supporting sports clubs up and down the country, with many football clubs benefitting from the Government’s unprecedented financial support to businesses.

The Government is fully aware of the importance of getting spectators back into stadia for many sports, and the financial consequences of the decision not to allow this from 1 October. The evidence received from the Chief Medical Officer was very clear that at a time of rapidly rising infections, and when the Government was considering restrictions elsewhere, it was not the right time to undertake any further easements.

We will continue to work closely with a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. This will supplement the draft government guidance, and the SGSA supplementary guidance to their Green Guide, which has been internationally welcomed.

We are committed to getting spectators back into stadia as soon as it is safe to do so.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’

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