News Singapore Premier League • April 7, 2021
Conditional re-entry to SPL matches for fans until 23 April
Hougang HOOLs in the background during the 2020 AIA Community Shield on 22 February
SINGAPORE, 7 APRIL 2021 –Fans will be able to attend AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) matches starting this weekend, marking another step towards resuming live spectatorship at football matches.
Following discussions with the relevant regulatory agencies, a maximum of 250 fans will be admitted inside match venues from 10 April. This will begin with Game Week 6 of the SPL this weekend, when Balestier Khalsa FC play Hougang United FC and the Young Lions host Tanjong Pagar United FC on Saturday (10 April), while Albirex Niigata FC (S) entertain Tampines Rovers FC and Geylang International FC face Lion City Sailors FC on Sunday (11 April).
This conditional re-entry will be in place for match-days until 23 April. From 24 April onwards, up to 250 fans will be allowed to enter match venues without the need for any testing, as per guidelines announced by the COVID-19 Multi-Ministry Taskforce on 24 March.
To gain entry at any match venue, fans will have to produce proof of a negative test result – either of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) – or certification of having received the full two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The PCR test is required to be taken within the last 14 days from the date of the match, while the ART must be taken within 24 hours prior to end of the event. Individuals who have been vaccinated will only be admitted if the date of the match falls at least 14 days after their second dose.
Eligible fans who produce the required proof may obtain a wrist-tag – at no personal cost – at a dedicated booth at each match venue, which will commence operations two hours prior to kick-off. The wrist tag will be unique to the match it admits entry for and will allow the fan access to the venue starting 60 minutes before kick-off. Fans who enter will be subjected to safe-distancing protocols as well as the usual security protocols at matches, which include bag checks. As such, fans are advised not to bring bags, as well as prohibited items, when attending the matches. In addition, they will also have to adhere to the guidelines set out in the advisory by Sport Singapore on Safe Resumption of Sport & Physical Exercise For Phase Three.
This will be the first time that fans can enter live football matches since the final day of the 2020 season, which saw a pilot test to admit 200 fans at the match between Tampines Rovers and Geylang International at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) in December.
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FAS General Secretary, Mr Yazeen Buhari, said: “We have seen our SPL fans passionately supporting their clubs from various locations outside match venues since the new season kicked off on 13 March and we feel it is only right we work towards welcoming them back to matches sooner than 24 April. I speak for the SPL clubs and players that the fans’ presence will be a welcome boost to the match-day experience. As we understand that some of them may choose to take the PCR test or the ART in order to gain entry, we have waived the cost of match tickets during this period. Of course, it is imperative that the fans adhere strictly to all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of themselves and others present.”
Mr Idi, a supporter of Geylang International, said: “This is a day that we have all been waiting for. While we understand that there will still be conditions such as maintaining safe distancing and having to be tested prior to entry, it is fine just as long as we can be back in the stadiums to show our support for our team. It’s also a stepping stone towards having more spectators and I am definitely looking forward to this weekend.
“It was a great feeling when we were able to watch the match at OTH last December. It really means a great deal to us because for us, we feel that the club is like family to us and each time they play, we want to be there. I feel that all of the SPL teams will benefit from having fans back in the stands and hopefully there will be more exciting football action for the fans.”
SPL fans will still be able to watch every match LIVE on broadcast at Singtel TV, StarHub TV and live streaming online via the SPL Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as the Facebook page of 1 Play Sports. Taking into account the fluid nature of the current situation regarding the Asian Football Confederation competition fixtures, changes may be expected to the SPL fixtures schedule.