Sports News

Turkey to allow limited fan attendance at football matches from October

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey will let limited numbers of fans attend football matches from October, the Turkish Football Federation said in a statement on Tuesday, rolling back some curbs imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey halted its 2019-20 season in March due to the virus and resumed matches in June without spectators. Last month, the top-tier Super League concluded with Istanbul Basaksehir winning the title for the first time, breaking the dominance of the “Big Three” in Turkey - Fenerbahce, Galatasaray and Besiktas.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) said it had decided to allow fans in up to 30% of each stadium’s capacity as of October, adding that private boxes would also be open to use.

“Fans will enter after temperature tests at stadiums, and it will be mandatory for all fans to abide by social distancing and wear masks,” the TFF said.

There have been more than 259,000 cases of novel coronavirus recorded in Turkey and more than 6,100 deaths, as cases have risen in recent weeks despite warnings from the government.

In a separate statement, the TFF announced the introduction of a “B Team League” where top-tier clubs will be allowed to compete as well. It said participation was not mandatory, but the league aimed to provide playing time for young players.

Turkey’s Super League is set to return on Sept. 11.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by Hugh Lawson