BELIZE CITY, Mon. Jan. 17, 2022– In a press release dated Friday, January 14, the National Sports Council of Belize (NSC) revealed its updated “Guidelines for Fan Attendance at All Sporting Events,” whereby some fans will now be allowed to attend games.
After just over a year and a half ban on all sporting activity in its stadiums across Belize due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NSC had lifted the ban on competitions at its facilities with a press release on October 19 of 2021 listing its “Guidelines for the Return to Competitive Contact Sport;” but among the Covid protocols listed was one guideline stipulating that “No fans” were to be allowed inside the stadiums for the competitions.
Since late November of last year, the Belize District 1st Division Amateur tournament has been featuring games on Saturdays at the MCC Grounds in Belize City; and the same has reportedly been occurring in other districts, all being restricted to the “no fan” rule. Meanwhile, the National Amateur Women League (NAWL), which kicked off its tournament with games across the country on November 7, and the FFB Top League (PLB still in Limbo) which started on October 23 and played all games at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, have both completed their tournaments before Christmas, all the games being played to empty stadiums.
So now, it was refreshing news for football fans last Friday, January 14, at least for those who got the news on time, when the NSC released its “Guideline for Fan Attendance at All Sporting Events” wherein it stipulated that “effective 15 January 2022,” “All approved sporting events will return to 50% fan attendance.” Further conditions include “proof of immunization against Covid to be allowed entrance” and “fans must be seated; absolutely no standees allowed.”
The new 50% allowance of fan attendance coincided with the kickoff this past weekend of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) National Elite Youth Championships for U17 Men, U17 Women, U20 Men and U20 Women, which are being played in stadiums across the country.