Bulgaria to allow fans in stadiums for new season

FILE PHOTO: Bulgarian Cup Final - CSKA Sofia v Lokomotiv Plovdiv
FILE PHOTO: Bulgarian Cup Final - CSKA Sofia v Lokomotiv Plovdiv
·1 min read

SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian soccer stadiums can welcome supporters at matches when the Balkan country’s league season starts on Friday, the health ministry announced on Tuesday.

According to an order issued after talks between Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Sports Minister Krasen Kralev and Health Minister Kostadin Angelov, fans will be allowed at stadiums if they take up no more than 50% of a venue’s capacity.

The order also includes a limit of 1,000 supporters per sector in a stadium as physical distancing of 1.5 metres must also be maintained.

Indoor sports events remain closed to spectators, the health ministry said.

The government's previous decision to allow the league to start without spectators has sparked widespread criticism and several fan clubs sent letters to the authorities saying matches could be easily organised with supporters in the stands.

As of Tuesday, Bulgaria had more than 12,000 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, including over 400 deaths, a relatively low number in Europe.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Ken Ferris)