Football

Manchester United ready to host 23,500 fans

Manchester United can safely host 23,500 fans at Old Trafford while maintaining social distancing to curb the spread of Covid-19, the English Premier League club said yesterday.

Spectators have been barred from games since the league resumed in June after a three-month hiatus due to the pandemic, with fans last present at Old Trafford during United's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City in March.

The UK government had hoped to allow limited crowds back into sporting venues this month, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson put those plans on hold last month amid a surge in cases.

"We spent around two months working with the government guidelines to... make sure we can have around 23,500 people in this stadium safely social distancing," United's chief operating officer Collette Roche told Sky Sports.

"It's quite bemusing to understand why people can gather in other settings such as on an aeroplane or a restaurant, or even in a cinema to watch football, when we have the plans and the process ready to deliver a match day here safely." - REUTERS

Football