We will have good news for football fans: PM

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that the government is working on a solution to enable some fans to attend matches.

Football returns to Poland after COVID-19 break

After 76 days of suspension caused by the pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the official football matches will again take place in Poland.

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The first football match in Poland after the break caused by the pandemic of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus took place on Tuesday. In the quarter-final game of the Polish Cup held in Legnica, south-west Poland, Legia Warsaw defeated 2:1 Miedź to progress to the semi-final. On Wednesday, another quarter-final will take place, Stal Mielec will host Lech Poznań. Over the weekend and the following days, the games of the top three divisions (PKO BP Ekstraklasa, Fortuna I Liga, and II Liga) are scheduled to be restored.

Current regulations state that matches in Poland must be held without the supporters attendance, with only a limited number of people at the stadium. Nevertheless, the government and the sports association have been working on solutions to enable at least a small number of fans to see the matches from the stands.

Last week, the head of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), Zbigniew Boniek, sent a letter to the Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki about allowing fans enter the stadiums and sport arenas.

On Wednesday, the PM announced another phase of lifting restrictions imposed because of the pandemic. This did not include the re-opening of stadiums to supporters, but fans should not lose hope.

“We work on a proper protocol, allowing some presence [at stadiums], not full. We have to remember that during matches, one person can quickly transmit this disease to many people and the number of infections would rise,” the PM said.

He added that “we will have good news for fans, but we are still working on this protocol with PZPN.”

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The Polish league will be one of the first football competitions in Europe to be restored. The German Bundesliga returned in the middle of May, Czech League matches were held last weekend, Spanish La Liga is due to return in June, some leagues such as French Ligue 1 or Dutch Eredivisie were declared completed prematurely, it is not known when the English professional leagues will return. The only country that did not suspend or cancel their leagues is Belarus.

Football fans in Europe will be given a chance to see live action from the Polish top tier. Marcin Animucki, the head of the Ekstraklasa PLC company, the organiser of the competition told the news website Onet that Polish league matches will be broadcasted to the other countries.

“We have a total of 17 international contracts and we are working on further ones. We start with the hit game between Lech Poznań and Legia Warsaw and this match was chosen by all our partner broadcasters as one of two or three they will display,” he said.

Polish matches will be available to watch in such countries as Austria, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, and the UK.

“We have also sent inquiries to the Nordic countries, there are many Poles there and we have received very positive feedback,” Mr Animucki added.