Fans will return to a football stadium in England for the first time following the coronavirus lockdown when Brighton host Chelsea in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, after the government endorsed a raft of pilot events.
Games in England have been played behind closed doors since the resumption of football after a COVID-19 enforced hiatus but that could change soon. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Wednesday confirmed a raft of new events in which spectators would be allowed into venues on a socially-distanced basis.
The other football matches involved are the friendly between Lewes FC and London Bees on August 30 and Non-League Finals Day – featuring the FA Vase and FA Trophy Finals – at Wembley Stadium, which is scheduled for September 20.
The matches will allow the government and clubs to test run methods for keeping fans safe inside stadiums while allowing a reduced number of supporters to return to professional sports venues with as little risk as possible.
No Chelsea fans will be able to buy tickets, with Brighton announcing the government’s track-and-trace rules will be implemented at the Amex Stadium. This was confirmed in an official statement released by the club.
“To conform with the government’s track-and-trace rules, booking a ticket for this match requires you to ensure your personal and contact details are all up to date, and you have provided the club with a current working mobile phone number.
A total of 2,500 tickets will be made available to Brighton & Hove Albion season-ticket holders and 1901 Club members for a pre-season friendly against Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium this Saturday, 29th August, kick-off 3 pm.”
The friendly game between Chelsea and Brighton will be Chelsea’s first pre-season fixture and we could be seeing some of The Blues’ new boys in action. Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech are poised to make their first appearance in a Chelsea shirt against the same opposition that they and Chelsea would kick off their Premier League campaign against on the 12th of September.