New coronavirus restrictions in Northern Eire have precipitated confusion for soccer groups, after Coleraine FC had been left struggling to make clear if followers had been allowed to attend Friday evening’s sport towards Ballymena United.
The laws solely got here into pressure lower than two hours earlier than kick-off, however doubt had been forged on whether or not or not supporters ought to be allowed into the Showgrounds.
Steering states that elite coaching and competitors can proceed, each indoors and outside, whereas measures had been put in place to permit restricted numbers of supporters.
Nevertheless, the Northern Eire Soccer League (NIFL) mentioned it had acquired a letter from Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín advising that it was “essential to cease spectators from attending sporting occasions”.
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry mentioned some followers had been already contained in the grounds when he arrived, whereas others had been initially saved outdoors whereas they sought readability from police.
All of the supporters had been later allowed into the venue after it was deemed unsafe to maintain them outdoors, risking a violation of a rule limiting numbers who can collect public.
“We’ve put all the required security necessities in place to stick to the Public Well being Company,” Mr McKendry mentioned, including that they had been put in an “not possible scenario”.
First Minister Arlene Foster responded to developments on social media, stating that the laws “don’t ban spectators within the grounds of elite sports activities”.
Mrs Foster posted on Twitter: “The present place is maintained allowing a restricted quantity to attend. Preposterous for golf equipment to be advised something on the contrary.”
Ballymena United went on to win the sport 1-0, after a first-half aim from Kofi Balmer.