World Cup organisers boosted by Prime Minister’s announcement

World Cup 2021 chief executive Jon Dutton says they are encouraged by the Government announcement regarding the return of fans to stadia.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out his roadmap for coming out of lockdown, which included the possible return of spectators from May 17.

READ: Fans permitted to return from May

It eases worries for organisers, who had been faced with questions over the viability of the tournament, due to start on October 23.

Dutton said: “We are greatly encouraged by the roadmap for the return of spectators to sports stadia, which was detailed by the Prime Minister in Parliament today. We have remained positive and optimistic that fans would be able to attend the tournament, which will be held in October and November 2021 in England.

“We recognise that there are still challenges ahead, but we very much hope that this tournament, predominantly being staged in many of the hardest hit areas across the North of England, will play a part in the nation’s pandemic recovery plan and will be the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.”

The lifting of restrictions will initially allow stadia with a capacity over 40,000 to welcome 10,000 spectators; while those under can welcome 4,000 or 25% capacity, whichever is lower.

World Cup organisers have said that they can make the tournament work if they are able to have grounds at least 25% full.

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