Cape Town – The South African Football Association (SAFA) has announced that it is ready to welcome back a limited number of stadium spectators, but only if they are fully vaccinated.
This follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent decision to move the country to adjusted alert level 1, with public gatherings restricted to 750 people indoors and 2 000 people outdoors.
Minister of Health Joe Phaahla has given a nod to SAFA’s move, saying the aim was to have the majority of South Africans vaccinated so that all sectors of the economy could return to normalcy.
‘”This is music in my ears. It is a win win situation. It will spur all and sundry, the clubs, players and the football business.
‘”We also want other sectors of the economy to return to normalcy if the majority of the population is vaccinated – sectors such as tourism, restaurants etc. So I am here to embrace and fully support SAFA’s initiative,’’ he said.
Speaking to eNCA, SAFA Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya, confirmed that only 2 000 spectators would be allowed into the stadiums as per the Covid-19 regulations.
“Fans are dying to go back to the game, that’s why we came to the decision, but we’re saying let’s do it in a cautious way,” he said.
The pilot project of fans returning to the stadium will be on October 12, during the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo