The South End Core, Malta’s most loyal and dedicated football fanbase, has launched a set of proposals to see fans return to stadiums for live football matches.
Using Ta’ Qali national stadium as an example, the proposals outline a set of social-distancing measures that the fan group considers acceptable enough to see football fans return to watching live matches while ensuring that public health practices are kept in place.
The proposals include a 30% maximum capacity with the stadium split into six sections of a maximum of 400 persons each, in order to avoid overcrowding and maintaining social distancing.
It also suggests the optional possibility of having 800 people seated in the north and south sections of the stadium respectively.
Although gyms, bars, restaurants and even theatres have reopened, albeit under some social-distancing restrictions, sports fans continue to be deprived of the ability to watch live football games in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The South End Core has long been advocating for the return of live sports, especially in light of Malta’s recent streak of success in the international footballing arena.
“More and more people are enjoying what they love most while we, the sports fans, are being kept in limbo,” it said in a Facebook post.
“Don’t get us wrong – we 100% support this initiative as we understand and respect everyone’s career, hobbies and liking,” it said in reference to a Lovin Malta article about the reopening of Teatru Manoel under social distancing rules.
The Maltese fan group also made comparisons to current footballing situations in other European countries affected by COVID-19 but still allow fans to be present in the stands, such as France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
“Restaurants, bars, schools, churches and even theatres are now open but a stadium that is outdoors is still empty without access,” it said.
“Chris Fearne, the health ministry and the government – what are you waiting for? A medical protocol that has been presented. Give us an answer so we can prepare and educate fans in a new way and not leave it to the end!” it appealed.
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