By Philip O'Connor
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) has pleaded with the country's sports minister Amanda Lind and its public health agency to allow 500 fans to attend the Women's Champions League final between Chelsea and Barcelona in Gothenburg on May 16.
The country's current COVID-19 restrictions allow for just eight supporters at top-level matches, with the government announcing a week ago that this could be increased to 500 on May 17, the day after the final is due to be played at the 18,416-capacity Gamla Ullevi stadium.
"We are talking about one of the biggest events in global women's sports, and it is of course sad that it will not be possible to hold it in front of packed stands. But 500 spectators is still much better than eight," SvFF chairman Karl-Erik Nilsson said in a statement.
"And since it is only hours before the new rules come into force, we have written to the Public Health Agency and the government and appealed for a solution that makes it possible to apply the new audience ceiling at Gamla Ullevi during the final," Nilsson added.
Neither Chelsea, who are captained by Swede Magda Eriksson and beat Bayern Munich on Sunday to book their spot in the final, nor Barcelona, who beat Paris St Germain in their semi-final, have previously won the Women's Champions League title.
Reuters has contacted Lind for comment.
(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by Toby Davis)