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Scotland could welcome sports fans back next month

Sports stadiums in Scotland could welcome fans back on September 14 with social distancing and limited capacities in place.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the suggested reopening date during her daily briefing yesterday (Thursday), but stressed it would be for a “limited number of spectators and with strict physical distancing in place”.

Fans have been banned from stadiums since March due to COVID-19, with the 2020-21 Scottish Premiership season beginning behind closed doors on August 1.

“We hope that sports stadiums will be able to reopen from 14 September – but only for a limited number of spectators and with strict physical distancing in place,” Sturgeon said.

“Some professional sports events might be arranged for spectators before then, with Scottish government agreement to test the safety of any new arrangements.”

Test events for professional sport could also take place ahead of any reopening, Sturgeon added.

Scottish Rugby has expressed interest in making the Pro14 match between Edinburgh and Glasgow at Murrayfield on August 28 a test event. The proposal that would see 700 fans in attendance could be signed off in the next couple of days, according to BBC Scotland.

Meanwhile, Scottish football clubs in the Championship, Leagues One and Two kick off their 2020-21 season with Betfred Cup matches on October 6, while the league campaigns kick off on October 17.

The Scottish FA welcomed the news and said it will continue to work with the Scottish government.

Image: Zhi Yong Lee / CC BY 2.0 / Edited for size

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