SPORT is to be delivered a real hammer blow this evening when the government will confirm that ALL sporting events must now take place behind closed doors.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) met yesterday to consider a range of issues and measures.
Picture: The gates closed at Sean MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey. Picture by Chris Doherty
NPHET has advised that sporting events and matches must now return to being held ‘behind closed doors’.
Sport returned from the Covid-19 lockdown to be played with maximum attendances of 200, that number to include the participants, match officials and media.
It meant that spectator numbers were severely curtailed with Finn Harps able to permit only 50 season ticket holders into home games.
At Regional League GAA game between Sean MacCumhaills and Glenfin last month, only 105 spectators were admitted to the 17,500 capacity Sean MacCumhaill Park – meaning the stadium was at just 0.6 per cent of its capacity.
Under new measures, to be announced by the government later today, ALL sporting events must now be played without spectators.
The move will serve as a financial headache for clubs and organisations, who had hoped to see at least an increase to total attendances of 500, let alone countenance a return to a behind-closed-doors scenario.
The new measures will govern sport at all levels, meaning clubs and organisations right through the various spheres will suffer.
A planned move, as part of phase 4 of the easing of restrictions, to increase the attendance limit was postponed at the start of this month, in spite of pleas from high profile figures such as GAA President John Horan.
Gatherings indoors will be reduced to just six people from three separate houses and outdoor home gatherings are to be reduced to only 15 people.