Northern Irish aspect Coleraine have been left in an “unattainable state of affairs” after struggling to make clear whether or not they might enable supporters to attend their opening sport of the Danske Financial institution Premiership season on Friday evening.
The confusion got here as followers turned up for the match towards Ballymena United at Coleraine Showgrounds.
New strict rules aimed toward stemming the unfold of coronavirus got here into impact at 6pm on Friday for 4 weeks, shortly earlier than the match was resulting from kick-off.
Steerage states elite coaching and competitors can proceed, each indoors and outdoor.
However the Northern Eire Soccer League (NIFL) mentioned it acquired a letter from Communities Minister Caral Nu Chuilin advising it was “essential to cease spectators from attending sporting occasions”.
Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry mentioned some followers have been already contained in the grounds when he arrived, whereas others have been initially saved outdoors whereas they sought readability from police.
All of the supporters have been later allowed into the Coleraine venue after it was deemed unsafe to maintain them outdoors, risking a violation of a rule limiting numbers who can collect public.
“We have put all the required security necessities in place to stick to the Public Well being Company,” he mentioned, including that they had been put in an “unattainable state of affairs”.
First Minister Arlene Foster responded to developments on social media, stating the rules “don’t ban spectators within the grounds of elite sports activities”.
“The present place is maintained allowing a restricted quantity to attend. Preposterous for golf equipment to be advised something on the contrary,” she posted on Twitter.