For the first time since March, a maximum of 200 spectators will be allowed, subject to mandatory testing and safe-distancing protocols
SINGAPORE, 2020, DECEMBER 02 – For the first time since Singapore Premier League (SPL) matches were played behind closed doors on 14 March, spectators will be able to enjoy SPL action in person. Following discussions with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Ministry of Health (MOH) and Sport Singapore (SportSG), a pilot test for one game will be conducted to ensure that the necessary logistical and movement protocols can be fully assessed and carried out smoothly. A maximum of 200 fans – 150 home and 50 away – will be allowed to enter the match scheduled for Saturday, 5 December between Tampines Rovers FC and Geylang International FC at Our Tampines Hub, subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing and safe-distancing protocols.
The move to allow a limited number of spectators to be present at the stadium signals a progressive step towards having fans back at football matches again. This has been made possible due to the progress made by the SPL since its resumption on 17 October. Comprehensive protocols that were established, including mandatory bi-weekly swab testing for all players and match officials, have helped the league to maintain zero positive COVID-19 cases since the restart.
Fans who wish to attend the match will need to purchase a match ticket online via the FAS website (http://www.fas.org.sg/tickets/). They will also be required to undergo the Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on-site at Our Tampines Hub when they arrive. 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 (i.e. 5 December) given that its validity is only for 24 hours. There will be no cost for the ART as fans would only need to produce proof of purchase of the match ticket and a corresponding form of identification.
Fans will be given a choice of predetermined time slots to select when they wish to have their ART done, with the first timeslot being 2:15pm and the last one at 4:15pm. These fans are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before their designated timeslot in order to facilitate a smooth procedure. Each ART result is expected to take approximately 30 minutes to process.
FAS President, Mr Lim Kia Tong, said: “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. While they have been able to follow the action through the ‘LIVE’ broadcasts, 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.”
SPL fans who are unable to purchase the match tickets will still be able to catch the action ‘LIVE’ as every match on the last day of the 2020 season will be broadcast on Singtel TV, StarHub TV and myCujoo as well as streamed online via the SPL and 1 Play Sports Facebook pages.