July 24, 2020 / 5:37 AM / 10 days ago

South Korea to allow fans back into baseball, football games

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - 2020 K League 1 - Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC v Suwon Samsung Bluewings - Jeonju World Cup Stadium, Jeonju, South Korea - May 8, 2020 General view during the match, despite most sports being cancelled around the world the local league starts behind closed doors due to the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - The South Korean government announced on Friday it will begin allowing a limited number of fans back into baseball and football stadiums as soon as Sunday, under new rules aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Fans will be allowed to attend Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) games starting on Sunday, and Korea Professional Football League (K League) matches starting August 1, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said at a government meeting.

Both leagues will only be allowed to sell 10% percent of the seats available at any given game, he said.

“Many citizens who have been cheering via online are looking forward to entering the stadium again,” Chung said, while asking for patience with efforts to balance anti-virus measures with reopening.

After a more than a month delay due to the global coronavirus pandemic, which all but wiped the world’s sporting calendar clean, South Korea’s soccer and baseball leagues opened their seasons in early May, but fans have not been allowed to attend.

Reporting by Sangmi Cha and Josh Smith; Editing by Michael Perry

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