UEFA lifts ban on away fans gracing fixtures

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UEFA to allow away fans from next week Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has lifted a ban on away fans attending European club matches from next week.

The ‘BBC Sports’ stated that fans will be allowed to attend away games in the Champions League, Europa League and the Europa Conference League.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe. It is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

However, attendance remains subject to national Government coronavirus restrictions in host countries.

The change will affect English and Scottish clubs who are preparing for away games in European competition group stages, which begin next week.

The UEFA said in a statement, “Considering the different rules and regulations applicable across the UEFA member-association territories, it was decided to leave any decision with regards to spectators to the relevant competent authorities.”

The ‘BBC Sports’ further stated that away fans have not been allowed to attend European competition since the start of the pandemic, with only a limited number allowed at the Champions League and Europa League finals in May this year.

There has also been a ban on away fans for all qualifying rounds of European competition so far this season.

The restrictions in place locally vary considerably. For example, Sweden, where the Premier League club Chelsea F.C. travel to play Malmö FF (the top flight football club in Sweden) on November 2nd, currently forbids all non-essential travel from the United Kingdom, as does the Netherlands, where the Dutch professional football club Vitesse Arnhem host the Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. on October 21st.

In contrast, the Premier League club Liverpool F.C. fans traveling to Portugal for the match against the Portuguese professional football club FC Porto on September 28th just need to show proof of vaccination, or a PCR or antigen COVID-19 test.

France, where the Premier League club Manchester City F.C. face the Ligue 1 club Paris St-Germain on the same evening, bans non-essential travel from the United Kingdom for people who are not fully vaccinated and requires fully vaccinated travelers to complete a ‘sworn statement’ form.

Spain, where the Scottish professional football club Celtic F.C. play the LaLiga team Real Betis in the Europa League on September 16th, requires all arrivals from the UK to present a pre-travel declaration form and either a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.

In addition, the UK Government restrictions remain in place on travelers returning from amber-list countries.

The UEFA also confirmed in its statement that players who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 will no longer need to be tested in order to play in its competitions.

However, players may still need to be tested to enter countries for matches depending on Government restrictions in those places.

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