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Soccer-Home fans only for final two Premier League matches

Soccer-Home fans only for final two Premier League matches

FILE PHOTO: Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (R) celebrates his winning goal with team mates Mario Balotelli (L) and Edin Dzeko during their English Premier League match against Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northern England, May 13, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples

REUTERS: The Premier League on Wednesday said a limited number of supporters would be permitted to return to stadiums for the final two rounds of the 2020-21 season, with attendance restricted to home fans.

Matches in England's top-flight have taken place behind closed doors since June, apart from a brief window late last year when small crowds were allowed before a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

But supporters will return, in a limited capacity, after May 17 in line with the government's plan to ease lockdown restrictions in England.

"Supporters are expected to be able to return to stadiums from May 17 in a reduced capacity, pending the final Government decision on planned Step 3 conditions, which will be announced no later than May 10," the league said in a statement.

"Following consultation with clubs, it was agreed matches would not be open to away supporters due to varying operational challenges and the need to deliver a consistent approach, while maximising opportunity for home-fan attendance."

The Premier League last week confirmed fixtures had been rescheduled to provide an opportunity for each club to host one home match with supporters before the end of the season.

The penultimate round of games will be played on May 18-19, with the final matches of the season taking place on May 23.

A crowd of 8,000 watched Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup final on April 25, while this month's FA Cup final is expected to have 21,000 fans present.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters

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