Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE football fans back in stadium after a year: All you need to know

James Jose/Abu Dhabi
Filed on May 16, 2021

All precautionary measures will be taken into consideration.

When Dubai clubs Shabab Al Ahli and Al Nasr square off in the prestigious President’s Cup final at the iconic Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain at 7.35 pm this evening, it will mark a watershed moment in UAE sport, amidst the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Fans will make a return to the stadium after a year and two months.


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The UAE Football Association (UAEFA), the governing body for football in the country, in coordination with the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), had announced on April 27 that fans will be allowed back into the stadium at a maximum of 30 percent capacity, while taking all precautionary measures into consideration.

Only vaccinated fans will be able to witness the match and they would have to provide a negative PCR test result and show the status of gold star or 'E' on the Al Hosn UAE app. The test must be done in the last 48 hours ahead of the match.

This could possibly pave the way forward for the return of fans into the stadiums for the next stage of the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers that will be hosted by the UAE.


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The last time fans were allowed in the stadiums was last year when the Arabian Gulf League, the UAE’s top flight, had come to a halt after Round 19 on March 14, due to the pandemic.

The UAE had begun its vaccination drive last December.

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