Western Mail

PM halts bid to get fans a step closer to big return


PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has announced that test events for sports fans have been suspended in a major blow to Cardiff City, Swansea City and the Welsh Rugby Union.

Supporters have been returning to selected sporting events since July as the UK Government planned to get fans back in stadiums on a limited capacity basis permanentl­y from October 1 at the earliest.

The Welsh Government has been monitoring the trials amid a desire from Cardiff and Swansea, and the Welsh Rugby Union to get fans back as soon as is safely possible.

All three organisati­ons are desperate for a cash injection after being hit hard by the financial turmoil of Covid-19.

But a rise in coronaviru­s cases across the country has led to the UK Government making the call to suspend those test events pending a review.

It throws into serious doubt the prospect of fans being able to attend this autumn’s Wales rugby fixtures, which are set to be held in London, as well as any supporters returning to the Liberty Stadium or Cardiff City Stadium in the near future.

Cardiff had previously had a request for 10,000 fans to attend Saturday’s Championsh­ip match against Sheffield Wednesday turned down by Welsh Government.

In Mr Johnson’s daily briefing he talked about new measures being taken after what he described was a ‘rapid rise in cases’ in the last few days.

Social gatherings of more than six people will be banned from Monday indoors or outdoors including homes, parks, pubs and restaurant­s. There will be £100 fines if people do not comply with this.

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