Football crowds to return to stands with 60 per cent capacity for Adnoc Pro League start

Spectators over 16 who received a booster dose for Covid-19 vaccine or second dose less than six months ago will be allowed

UAE football fans have been allowed to attend upcoming matches. Satish Kumar / The National
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Football fans in the UAE can now enjoy the game from the stands with the news that spectators will now be allowed to attend the Adnoc Pro League, which kicks-off the new season on Thursday.

The UAE Pro League, in coordination with the UAE Football Association and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, has capped the crowd capacity at 60 per cent per game for matches in the Adnoc Pro League, Pro League Cup, UAE Super Cup.

Entry is restricted to spectators 16 years and above. Fans whose Al Hosn app shows green status, proving that they have received either a booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine or the second dose less than six months ago, will be allowed entry.

The fans will also have to present a negative PCR test result valid for 48 hours from the match day and they will have to adhere to precautionary measures, undergo temperature tests, wear face masks, and maintain social distancing.

The opening round of the Adnoc Pro League will see Emirates host Shabab Al Ahli in Ras Al Khaimah, while Al Wahda take the long journey to face the promoted Al Orooba in Fujairah in the early games. Ajman will be at home to Al Nasr in the late match.

On Friday, defending champions Al Jazira play Al Dhafra at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium and Khorfakkan host Al Ain in the two early games. Sharjah meets Kalba and Baniyas takes on Al Wasl in the late matches.

It was another positive news for the sport in the country. Earlier in August, UAE's top football division was renamed the Adnoc Pro League following a record Dh80 million deal with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) to become title sponsors.

The deal is the single largest sponsorship in the league’s history. Abdulla Naser Al Junaibi, UAE Pro League Chairman, had said the sponsorship reflects the important role played by the UAE Pro League and its influence on society.

“We are excited to work in partnership with Adnoc as we seek to drive change which will benefit players, spectators and the wider football community across the UAE,” he said.

“The agreement goes beyond monetary goals, as we look to develop a strategic partnership that creates added value through its ability to achieve tangible results on the ground in the coming years.”

Updated: August 15, 2021, 4:13 PM