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Fans' Return Paused
Tuesday, 22nd Sep 2020 09:20

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has confirmed that plans for fans to return to football and other sporting events from October 1st have been “paused”.

The Government announced in July that it was aiming for supporters to begin a staged return to stadia from the start of October with a number of test events having taken place over the last few weeks.

However, the plan was put under review earlier this month following the rise in coronavirus cases and with the Covid-19 alert level having been moved from three to four yesterday, indicating that transmission of the virus is high or rising exponentially, Gove says it has now been put on hold.

"We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning - it wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans," he told BBC Breakfast.

"We're looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

"The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it's in the nature of major sporting events that there's a lot of mingling."

He added: ”People look back now at the beginning of the pandemic at some of the major sporting events then and ask the question why they were allowed to go ahead.

“What we must do is look at sporting events now with caution but we also recognise that sport is a vital part of this nation and we're looking at everything we can do to support our athletes, our great clubs, through what will be a challenging time."

The move will come as a big blow to clubs desperate to get fans back into their grounds and for the gate income they bring.

Town had hoped to hold a test event at Portman Road either when Rochdale visit on Saturday or Gillingham visit in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday 6th October.

Photo: Action Images

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itfcjoe added 09:38 - Sep 22
Getting ridiculous now - you can watch non league football, you can go on holiday, you can go anywhere else - but you can't walk into town and sit on a pre allocated seat with built in social distancing and watch professional football

Northstandveteran added 09:44 - Sep 22
This experiment was never going to happen.
As someone who will no doubt have to shield again in the very near future, I am far from happy with the situation but have said this wouldn't happen on previous posts regarding this plan.
I'm afraid numbers count not conspiracies.
But I would like to thank certain fellow town fans for posting me abuse for expressing my ( now proven correct ) opinion.

Pencilpete added 09:47 - Sep 22
So going in a pub, club or restaurant is fine but sitting in an outdoor venue where interaction can be controlled and people kept apart isn't

Who the f*ck is making these decisions ??

Pencilpete added 09:49 - Sep 22
Also ..... why are they saying 1000 fans - at Accrington the ground would be half full, where as at Portman Road it would be almost empty

Surely the intelligent thing to do is say grounds can operate at 10% or 15% capacity or am i missing something there too ?

Suffolkboy added 10:00 - Sep 22
Those at the centre are becoming infatuated with the exercise of power ,lacking in the courage to communicate with clarity, always afraid to be labelled ‘responsible ‘ or ‘accountable ‘ ; permanently needing to have the cover of others or a defensive wall of ‘science ‘ .
THESE people do not inhabit the world most of us live in , and are ,it seems , clear in avoiding by hook or by crook , questioning of an informed nature by ‘ alternative ‘ experts and scientists .
Unfortunately unless the ‘cabal ‘ can be out- schemed by political means , we should not expect commonsense and economic logic to prevail any time soon !
We ordinary mortals will have to rely on optimism , trust and long-standing beliefs and friendship & continue to give support to our beloved ITFC .

tractorboybig added 10:11 - Sep 22
The problem is that although most of us would abide by the regulations there is that dickhead minority who would abuse it, so as is always the case the majority suffer for the ignorant.

bobble added 11:04 - Sep 22
with the current idiots still in charge, the whole nation will be in severe lockdown again in 3 weeks...you certainly get what you vote for

OldClactonBlue added 11:07 - Sep 22
Every chance another minister will say something different tomorrow, or the day after.

Alan_Essex added 12:22 - Sep 22
This was always going to happen... you can sit on the tube, work in an office, get on a plane... the positive mental benefits of getting out to watch football (yes, even us!!) in a safe environment are huge. Was really hoping to get in by the end of the month, it's a blow. See they managed to get 1,000 in at Carrow Rd - mind you, I'm sure that's not the first time 1,000 people have been used for an experiment in Norfolk

SouperJim added 12:49 - Sep 22
I'm as desperate to get back to Portman Road as everyone else, but clearly there is a world of difference between 10 people in a pub, and 10,000 people sharing the concourses, toilets etc in a football stadium. It's not as simple as what it looks like once everyone is in their seat.

Desperate to watch my football team live again? Yes. But not at the cost of anyone's life.

alfromcol added 15:15 - Sep 22
Exactly right, Tractorboybig

backwaywhen added 15:36 - Sep 22
Bobble ... who would you have in charge , this is a unique situation that any party would have struggled with to keep everyone happy , devil if does devil if he doesn’t.
Boris in.

Edmundo added 17:10 - Sep 22
Let's just see how this pans out. 3-4 weeks before we know if more cases really means more hospitalisations... personally I'm praying not, as I think we all are.

Michael101 added 17:35 - Sep 22
So no fans allowed in grounds until the gov gives the o k .any chance the league being stopped again?? The small teams going to be hit in the pocket again.

chepstowblue added 17:47 - Sep 22
Firstly,God help us had Corbyn been in charge when this dreadful situation arose. Johnson's a buffoon,but I'd take him ahead of the worst opposition leader ever in British politics. Onto football....if the turnstiles open at any stage this season I'll not be venturing through them. I've written it off,and like last season i find it unlikely that the fixtures will be completed. Regardless of what the players tell us I think Ipswich will benefit greatly from empty stadiums and being rid of the vitriol and poison that follows them around.

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