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K League opens ticket sales for weekend matches

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors' Lee Dong-gook celebrates his goal with his team staff against Suwon Samsung Bluewings during the opening game of South Korea's K-League football match at Jeonju World Cup Stadium in Jeonju on May 8, 2020. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

South Korean football’s K League is today opening ticket sales for matches this weekend, as it prepares to welcome fans back to stadiums for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The league and Korea’s KBO baseball league last week got permission from the Korean government to start re-admitting limited numbers of fans. The KBO began admitting fans last Sunday, and the K League will do so starting this Sunday.

The K League is allowing fans in stadiums in all regions of Korea except for Gwangju Province, which is currently under the government’s ‘Level 2′ social distancing measures, in place where the number of virus cases is above 50. It is hoped that Gwangju’s social distancing measures will be eased in time for a match there on August 16.

All other regions of Korea are at social distancing Level 1. The K League is allowed to admit spectators to matches up to 10 per cent of total stadium capacity. Tickets are sold online and checked at entry using a QR code system. Tickets are currently available for home team fans only.

People in queues at stadium entrances must be spaced 1m apart, and all spectators must wear masks. Temperature checks will be applied at entrances, and anyone with a temperature more than 37.5 degrees centigrade will be turned away.

Each ticket allocates a particular seat, and there must be a space of at least one seat in every direction around an occupied seat. Shouting, chanting, hugging, and use of megaphones are prohibited, and clubs are to monitor fans’ behaviour. No eating and drinking is allowed in seats. The opening of food and beverage kiosks is at the discretion of clubs, but only non-alcoholic drinks may be sold.

The K League was one of the world’s major professional sports competitions to resume after the Covid-19 shutdown, restarting matches on May 8.