Patrick Nelson hails ‘pivotal moment’ as fans set to return

Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson has welcomed the decision to allow up to 1,000 fans attend this season’s Irish Cup final calling it a “pivotal moment on the journey back to normality”.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 6:02 am

The NI Executive yesterday agreed to supporters attending the showpiece event, which will be used as a “learning event”, as well as up to 500 fans attending the remaining league fixtures.

For the final at Mourneview Park on May 21 supporters will only be able to attend on a ticket-only basis to enable contact tracing systems to work effectively, and along with teams and staff they will be required to take a Covid test before and after the match, with proof of a negative result to be provided on arrival.

Nelson welcomed the news and said he hoped it would further the case to increase spectator numbers at all events.

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Fans attended last year's final at Windsor Park

“This is another pivotal moment on the journey back to normality and we are delighted that football can play its part. We have worked closely with our partners in the NI Executive and the Department for Communities and will do likewise with the two clubs who reach the final,” he told the IFA website.

“We understand the significance of this increase in spectators for the final and also the importance of all attendees playing their part by adhering to the guidelines laid out and following the Covid testing requirements.

“We are confident that this event will help further the case for increasing spectator numbers not just for football but for other sports and events across Northern Ireland, which is something everyone wants.”



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