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Belgian clubs welcome football fans back

Belgian football fans are set to return to stadiums for top league matches, though numbers will be strictly limited with social distancing.

It will be the fifth game of the new season for these clubs. The action starts tonight in Eupen, a town near the German border, with the local stadium welcoming up to 1,600 fans. Matches have been behind closed doors since the March lockdown. 

“Bring the passion back,” says a Flemish football website headline.

On Sunday, more than 6,000 will be allowed into Anderlecht’s stadium – way below its maximum capacity of 22,000.

Fans are urged to keep one metre apart, separated by empty seats, and they must wear masks all the time. 

Clubs hope gradually to increase the crowd numbers.

Anderlecht CEO Karel Van Eetvelt says a closed-door match loses the club around €650,000 (£600,000). “This time, with about a third of our fans, we hope to limit the loss to €350,000 to €400,000.”

Next week some German Bundesliga clubs will allow fans back into stadiums, with strict rules as in Belgium.

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