Fans can attend Scottish Rugby pilot event



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Scottish Rugby back with fans BT Murrayfield Image: asva.co.uk

Scottish Rugby has got the nod and fans will be able to grace the professional rugby teams Edinburgh vs. Glasgow Warriors match at BT Murrayfield in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 28th.

The Scottish Government has approved plans to hold a test event for the final Guinness PRO14 game of the regular season for both teams.

The PRO14 (known as the Guinness PRO14 Championship for sponsorship reasons) is an annual rugby union competition involving professional sides from Ireland, Italy, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.

Murrayfield Stadium is a sports stadium located in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It has a seating capacity of 67,144 making it the largest stadium in Scotland and the fifth largest in the United Kingdom. The stadium is the home of the Scottish Rugby Union, and is mainly used as a venue for rugby union.

Scottish Government has backed Scottish Rugby’s plans which will make the game the first professional rugby match in the UK to welcome spectators back into the stadium fold since the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

It is understood about 1,000 people will be present at the stadium, which has a 67,000 capacity. That number will include players, backroom staff, stewards, other operations staff and journalists.

Said Scottish Rugby’s Chief Operating Officer, Dominic McKay, “Scottish Rugby is delighted that a limited number of spectators will be in BT Murrayfield on Friday August 28th to watch the Guinness PRO14 match between Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors. We are pleased our work with the Scottish Government will ensure that players, support staff and fans will be covered by a comprehensive event plan for everyone’s safety including physical distancing requirements.”

“Scottish Rugby would like to thank Government Ministers and officials who have helped us make this happen, and our own colleagues who pulled together a robust operational plan for the match. We hope that our experience and learnings from a live spectator event next Friday can help all of Scottish sport, and the wider events industry restart.”

The test event comes ahead of an indicative date of September 14th for supporters to be welcomed back into sports stadiums in Scotland under the Government’s plans for easing coronavirus restrictions.

The fixture is designated as an Edinburgh Rugby home match.
 

Scottish football

Scottish football has also been pitching for test events with Scottish professional football club Celtic’s home clash with professional football club Motherwell on August 30th put forward as a potential pilot for wider implementation.

Scottish Premiership clubs are producing documentation that they hope will help enable the gradual return of supporters within each of their grounds, looking at access points and physical distancing measures.

Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster stated, “Discussions on pilot events at Premiership matches are now underway and everyone is determined, for the sake of the Scottish game as a whole, to ensure these go smoothly and safely.”

Meanwhile, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has announced it has formally lifting the suspension of football from August 24th, in line with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcements recently. Contact training can resume for clubs outside the Scottish Premiership, who had been allowed special dispensation.

The decision confirms plans for lower-league teams to return, including Hearts, who were told to halt their pre-season program after breaches of protocol from Celtic and Aberdeen players led to the Government getting worried.

Remarked SFA President Rod Petrie, “This is a significant and hugely positive step forward for the whole of Scottish football and means that training can resume for both the professional and grassroots game. I understand the sacrifices players, coaches and clubs have been forced to make to get to this point but the health of the nation remains our absolute priority.”

“Training can resume in line with Government’s ongoing social distancing measures and advice and, if the virus continues to be contained in Scotland, then the path to competitive football matches being played by October is tangible,” Petrie added.

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