Details released by FA as fans are allowed back into non-league football grounds
PUBLISHED: 15:15 19 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 19 August 2020
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Fans will be allowed back into non-league football grounds from this weekend – providing they stay below a maximum capacity.
The Let Fans In campaign saw an online petition attract over 10,000 signatures in less than 24 hours and helped bring a decision from the government to start a phased approach for the return of supporters at steps three to six of the non-league pyramid.
The FA have now released details of what that means.
Between August 22 and August 30 clubs are allowed to admit fans “providing that their number does not exceed 15 per cent of the minimum ground grading capacity at these levels or respective figures set out within our updated guidelines”.
For step three, the Southern League and Isthmian League Premier Divisions which hosts Hitchin Town, Potters Bar Town, Royston Town and St Ives Town, that means 292 as the minimum capacity is 1,950.
For the likes of St Neots Town, Welwyn Garden City and Wisbech Town in step four, the figure is 195, 15 per cent of 1,300.
Step five and six clubs like Harpenden Town, Baldock Town, Saffron Walden Town, Eynesbury Rovers and Ely City, the maximum figure will be 150, with the minimum safe capacity 1,000.
If they do that, then they will be able to allow up to 30 per cent from August 31.
However, clubs have to play “at least one pre-season or competitive fixture in accordance with its respective level of spectators before moving on to stage two”.
The FA said: “We have today issued updated guidelines for the National League System (NLS) and Women’s Football Pyramid (WFP) that include a phased and limited return of spectators for clubs at steps three to six and tiers three to four respectively.
“The DCMS has now clarified its guidance on the return to recreational team sport and clubs are permitted to accommodate a phased and limited return of spectators to fixtures.
“However, they must follow the government’s guidance in relation to COVID-19 and the FA’s updated guidelines for the NLS or WFP respectively.
“In addition, regional NLS feeder league clubs and clubs at tiers five to six of the WFP are permitted to accommodate socially-distanced spectators in line with our guidelines for grassroots football.”
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