SINGAPORE — A maximum of 200 spectators will be allowed into a Singapore Premier League (SPL) match on Saturday (5 December), for the first time since the season was played behind closed doors from 14 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And it could very well be a title-decider, as Tampines Rovers could seal their first league title since 2013 if they beat Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub.
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced the pilot test for spectators in a media release on Wednesday, conducted to ensure that logistical and movement protocols can be assessed and carried out smoothly.
Free Antigen Rapid Tests on-site for spectators
A total of 200 fans – 150 home and 50 away – will be allowed to enter the match, subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing and safe-distancing protocols.
Fans who wish to attend the match will need to purchase a match ticket online via the FAS website. They will also be required to undergo a free Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on-site at Our Tampines Hub when they arrive. To do the test, they would need to produce proof of purchase of the match ticket and a corresponding form of identification.
The ART, which is done by using a nasal swab to take a sample from the lower part of an individual’s nose, must be done on the same day as the match given that its validity is only for 24 hours.
Fans will be given a choice of time-slots to have their ART done before the 5.30pm kick-off, with the first time slot at 2.15pm and the last one at 4.15pm.
These fans are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before their designated time-slot. Each ART result is expected to take about 30 minutes to process.
No COVID-19 cases among players, officials since SPL restart
FAS said the pilot test to allow spectators into the SPL matches has been made possible due to the COVID-19 protocols established by the league since its resumption on 17 October, such as mandatory bi-weekly swab testing for all players and match officials.
These protocols have helped the league to maintain zero positive COVID-19 cases since the restart.
“The successful outcome of this test is critical for us to explore the possibility of having fans return to all stadium venues for the 2021 SPL season,” said FAS president Lim Kia Tong.
“Nothing can replace the feeling of cheering your team on in the flesh from the stands. Of course, it is imperative that they adhere strictly to all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of themselves and others present. The presence of supporters will also be a morale boost for the teams and players.”
The SPL season will be completed on Saturday, with Tampines Rovers leading Albirex Niigata by one point at the top of the standings as of Wednesday afternoon.
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