Bring Back The Fans: West Ham boss David Moyes wants Government answers over lockout

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
POOL/AFP via Getty Images
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

David Moyes has called on the Government to explain why fans are able to watch football matches indoors in cinemas but not sit outdoors at stadiums.

West Ham’s Premier League fixture against Manchester City on Saturday is being screened in a cinema at Westfield Stratford centre, just a few minutes’ walk from where the game will be taking place in an empty London Stadium.

A Vue cinema will be able to admit more than 100 fans and the farce has added to the pressure mounting on the Government to lift a ban on fans attending matches.

Last week, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said that the decision to allow cinema screenings but exclude sports fans from stadiums was made on the advice of scientists.

But West Ham boss Moyes, whose club have backed the Standard’s Bring Back The Fans campaign, has called for clubs to be given an explanation.

“People [are] going watch a game in a cinema close to here,” Moyes told Standard Sport. “Why can we not be sitting outside in the open air doing it? Maybe there are other reasons, maybe it is the travelling on the Tube, the bus, maybe it is the pubs.

"But if that is the case, please come out and give us an explanation as to why we can’t do it.

“I watched a lot of the European games this week and have seen crowds back in different countries. It is hard to believe we cannot do that. Why can those countries be doing it and not ours? Are we so much worse than the others? I feel it is not right.”

The Government has committed to getting fans back “at the earliest opportunity”, after a petition to allow football fans to attend matches reached nearly 200,000 signatures.

But the fact games are already being screened in pubs and cinemas, and that arts and music venues have been allowed to run socially-distanced events indoors, has united English football in opposition to the ongoing restrictions.

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