Working Party to develop plan for fans' return to sports venues

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Working Party to develop plan for fans' return to sports venues

Spectators will be allowed again to attend sporting events around the country following the announcement today of the Government’s ‘Living with Covid’ plan

FOLLOWING the release earlier today, Tuesday of the Government's 'Resilience and Recovery 2020-21: Plan for Living with COVID-19', the FAI, GAA and IRFU have set up a working group to bring a collaborative approach to the development of a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to stadia.

As per the Level 2 guidelines, the Government confirmed that crowds of 200 will now be allowed attend matches at venues with a capacity which exceeds 5,000.

The 200 spectators limit does not include players, management, staff, officials or media.

Venues that do not hold 5,000 can allow in 100 spectators.

The working group, which will include representatives of Sport Ireland and will be chaired by Martin Murphy, Stadium Director of Aviva Stadium, will develop a common set of guidelines and protocols, by:

* Working with the Statutory Authorities essential to the safe delivery of major sporting events

* Engaging with Government agencies on the considerations and parameters applying to the number of people permitted at outdoor public gatherings

* Accessing international best practice and learnings from governing bodies which have been running spectator ‘return’ programmes over the past number of months

The group will present its plan to the Sport Expert Group, set up by Sport Ireland.

Group Chair, Martin Murphy, said: “Sport plays a hugely important role in Irish society and by working together the FAI, GAA, and the IRFU will bring their collective expertise and learning to develop a roadmap for the safe return of spectators to the sports events they love and miss deeply.

"The number one consideration for this group is to seek a series of protocols which would allow spectators back into sporting fixtures in a safe way, while complying fully with Government Health guidelines.

"Spectators are more than fans, they are an intrinsic part of any sporting occasion; they are the family and friends of the men and women who are representing their town, their county, their province or their country.

"They are part of the sporting culture of our nation which is so critically important to our overall wellbeing."