Russia has recorded 3,79,051 infections of the coronavirus and 4,142 deaths as of Thursday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had stated earlier this week, citing experts, that the nation has reached its peak of coronavirus cases.
But the country’s top-flight competition resumes next month, and fans will be allowed to attend football matches in Russia. The reversal comes after the Russian Football Union has said the season will resume behind closed doors from June 21. As part of a new deal between the country’s football authorities and health watchdog, stadiums will be required to fill 10 percent of their seats.
The Russian Football Federation has reported fans were given entry to the matches when the season starts on June 21. The health authorities in Russia approved the federation after discovering the extreme financial difficulties of many clubs due to the pandemic and resuming without fans would only exacerbate the situation. In the first phase, the report says clubs will only be allowed to fill 10 percent of the respective stadium capacity.
The clubs must determine whether the fans in the stands should be dispersed because that depends on the capacity of each stadium.
Zenit St. Petersburg has a stadium capacity of nearly 70,000 while others, including Orenburg Gazovik, have for their home games only a 7,500-seater.
Yet football in Russia will return late June, with fans in the stands.
“It is a healthy number of fans if all health steps are followed,” the association was quoted as saying by news agency AFP. Sports competitions around the world were canceled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With Germany’s Bundesliga leading the way, however, elite competitions are steadily resuming all over Europe.
Leaks emerged on Thursday that English Premier League will resume by June 17, while Italian Series A will resume by June 20.
News of fans being allowed comes after four Russian Premier League club Lokomotiv Moscow footballers have been positively tested for the novel COVID-19.