Oran Kearney says matchday protocols will have to change before fans come back

Oran Kearney feels the current matchday Covid protocols in the Danske Bank Premiership will have to change before fans will be able to return to games.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 10:41 am
Updated Sunday, 25th April 2021, 10:44 am

Whilst wider society has seen a number of restrictions eased in recent weeks including the return of close contact services and outdoor hospitality, football has largely been operating with the same regulations since the full lockdown was reintroduced at Christmas.

Reports suggest the Irish FA are hopeful the NI Executive may ease restrictions further when they meet again on May 13 which would allow fans to return to games including this season's Irish Cup final.

But the Coleraine boss, who had to deliver his half-time team talk in a hospitality suite at Ballymena Showgrounds yesterday, says things need to change with the current matchday arrangements to allow supporters to return to grounds.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Fans have been unable to attend games since before Christmas

"I struggle to see how fans can return at the minute," said Kearney.

"I think things have been brilliant, and football has been brilliant, but I don't think we have moved at the rate society has.

"Could fans have been in the ground today as we walked up the stand to go into the Des Allen Suite at half time?

"For me football has to move first so we get back to a place of some sort of normality of what a matchday Saturday looks like.

"Then we would be in a position for fans to come back."



A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to newsletter.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.newsletter.co.uk/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe