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Sports fans, cheer your teams in stadiums come April 1

18/03/2021 09:32 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 18 -- Good news for sports fans! Come April 1, you can be at stadiums or other venues to cheer your teams.

But take note! You will be subjected to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), says Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the technical meeting of the National Security Council has decided to allow spectators in stadiums or other venues for sports tournaments such as the Malaysia Football League beginning April 1.

The decision was made after hearing proposals on the SOPs from the Youth and Sports Ministry as well as the views and risk assessment of the Ministry of Health, he told a press conference to announce developments on the Movement Control Order (MCO) enforcement.

“Nevertheless, the organisation of all tournaments with spectator attendance is subject to the approval of the Youth and Sports Ministry,” he said.

This approval will begin to be implemented on April 1 with two Malaysia Football League matches to be allowed under the new ruling as proof of concept to evaluate the effectiveness of the spectator management protocol, he said.

He also said that the Youth and Sports Ministry, MKN and the Health Ministry will monitor and make a protocol compliance assessment in the aspect of movement, entry and dispersal of spectators during the matches.

Ismail Sabri spelt out the SOPs:

* In Conditional MCO (CMCO) zones, only 10 per cent of the spectator capacity or 2,000 people, whichever is lower, will be allowed but with supervisory control at all times.

* In Recovery MCO (RMCO) zones, only 25 per cent spectator capacity or 8,000 people, whichever is lower, will be allowed but with supervisory control at all times.

* Match tickets will be sold only online.

* Physical distancing of a minimum of 1.5 to two metres between one spectator and another.

* Sales operations allowed only at existing outlets in the stadium/venue area.

* Entry and exit of spectators will be in a scheduled and organised manner.

Ismail Sabri said detailed SOPs on the management of spectators will be uploaded onto the websites of the Youth and Sports Ministry and MKN.

Meanwhile, Stadium Sultan Ibrahim in Iskandar Puteri and the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras will be the first venues to welcome back spectators for football matches.

The Malaysian Football League (MFL) has confirmed that two Super League matches - Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) against Melaka United FC on April  2 and Kuala Lumpur City FC against Sabah on April 3 - have been picked as the pioneer project to assess the effectiveness of protocols on fan management.

MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said this was an important step to ensure that M-League matches were ready to be played in front of crowds.

"These two simulation matches are very important to get approval for clubs to open their stadiums to fans via MFL's evaluation process, where venues are deemed eligible if the criteria are met based on the conditions set,” he said in a statement.

He said MFL would ensure that the sports bubble would be maintained, apart from continuing to abide by the standard operating procedure.

-- BERNAMA

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