FOOTBALL

Saudi Arabian fans return to the stands

The Saudi Arabian sports ministry decided to allow fans to attend Saudi Arabia's game against Palestine on Tuesday at 40% of the stadium's capacity.

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Saudi Arabian fans return to the stands
KAI PFAFFENBACH Pool via REUTERS

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Sport announced on Monday that the Saudi national team's fixture on Tuesday against Palestine in the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Cup of Asia, will have covid-19 vaccinated fans in attendance. They will also have to follow special precautionary measures.

The ministry issued an official statement saying that "vaccinated fans against covid-19 will be allowed to attend the Palestine game on Tuesday at 40% of the stadium's capacity."

The date for permanent fans attendance is set

The statement also revealed that the 40% attendance will become the norm in all Saudi Pro League games as of 17 May, with specific preventive measures set to be applied to curb the spread of covid-19. Attendance at stadiums had been called off by the Saudi football officials at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

As per the newly-issued decision and the date set for spectators' return, fans are expected to be able to attend stadiums in the last three matchdays of the Saudi competition during which title winners and relegated teams are expected to be determined. This is to include the derby between Al Hilal and Al-Ahly set to be held on 19 May at the Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Stadium.

There have been 24 rounds of the Saudi league played so far, with Al Hilal top of the standings on 48 points, three ahead of their closest rivals, Al Shabab. Al-Ittihad sit third on 42 points.