Cap on spectator limit set to be lifted
The 500-cap on spectators at outdoor events looks set to be lifted on June 21 after the Northern Ireland Executive agreed on an indicative date.
Sporting events will be allowed larger numbers following risk assessments after that date if rubber-stamped by the executive next week, in line with health advice.
Fans made a return to local football last month with 1,000 attending the Irish Cup final between Linfield and Larne.
Up to 500 supporters ten attended the remaining Danske Bank Premiership fixtures.
Derry City will welcome 155 supporters to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Friday night for the first time since February 28th 2020.
Derry City and Strabane District Council confirmed the final number of spectators permitted into the ground after an absence of 15 months for the ‘test event’ as the Candy Stripes welcome Bohemians to Foyleside.
Many fans were left frustrated at the partial crowd, particularly as Shamrock Rovers will welcome 1,000 supporters for each of their next three home fixtures at Tallaght as part of a trial event while Cork City host 600 fans at Turner’s Cross.
Various other League of Ireland grounds will also have supporters clicking through the turnstiles once again for the first time in over 12 months.
Candy Stripes boss Ruaidhri Higgins hopes those supporters fortunate to attend the test event against Bohemians can ‘make up for lost time’ as the club go in search of a first home win of the season.
“It’s fantastic, even though there won’t be loads of them I’m sure they will make the noise of 1,000 people,” he said.
“I hope they’re eager to get back and make up for lost time and make loads of noise which I’m sure they will. It will be lovely to see a bit of red and white in the stands.”