Football governing body wants spectators at home game versus Latvia

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Estonian national football team players ahead of a clash with Georgia at the beginning of September. Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

The Estonian Football Association (EJL) wants a limited number of spectators to be admitted to an Baltic Tournament international versus Latvia taking place in Tallinn next week.

The game is to be played on June 10 at the A. le Coq Arena in Tallinn, while the EJL filed its request with both the culture ministry and the Health Board (Terviseamet).

Since Estonia's reported coronavirus rates have been rapidly falling in recent weeks and a semblance of normality has started to return with the lifting of restrictions, particularly from June 14, just four days after the Estonia-Latvia game is due to be played, the EJL says it is logical that spectators be admitted to outdoor sports events.

The stadium has a seating capacity of 14,336, while under the EJL's proposal, 1,000 people would be allocated to four different zones and kept separate from one another.

The match is also the first involving the men's national team to take place in Estonia for seven months, while another break, this time of over three months, will follow it before the next home international game, making the issue even more important for players and fans alike, the EJL says.

A European Championships qualifier due to be played against the Czech Republic in March was relocated to Poland, after coronavirus restrictions set the maximum number of spectators permitted to the game at a level lower than the minimum UEFA allows for a match to go ahead.

Players, organizers, referees and others would undergo COVID-19 tests ahead of the proposed June 10 game, while the usual dispersal measures, face-mask requirement, disinfectant provision etc. would also be in place, and tickets would be on sale online only, under the EJL's proposal.

Latvia's coronavirus restrictions have been even stricter than Estonia's, through much of the pandemic.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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