Soccer-Portugal to let fans attend final set of top-flight games

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group Stage - Group D - FC Porto v Schalke 04 - Estadio do Dragao, Porto, Portugal - November 28, 2018 General view outside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Miguel Vidal/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese soccer fans will be able to attend top-flight matches in the final round of fixtures this season, organisers said on Wednesday, as the country gears up to host the Champions League final later this month.

A statement from the Portuguese league said stadiums would be at 10% capacity for the games on May 19. Fans wishing to attend will have to present a negative COVID-19 test before entering the stadium.

Spectators attended games in limited numbers earlier this season before being shut out again following a national lockdown and prime minister Antonio Costa had said last month that they would not return before the end of the season.

But the policy was rolled back on Wednesday, a day after thousands of fans gathered outside the Jose Alvalade stadium to celebrate Sporting winning the league title for the first time in 19 years.

The news also came ahead of an expected announcement on Porto's Dragao stadium hosting the Champions League final on May 29.

Istanbul was due to stage the all-English showpiece between Chelsea and Manchester City but Turkish media reported on Tuesday that the final is to be moved to Porto because English supporters are prevented from travelling to Turkey due to its high COVID-19 infection rate.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony in Lisbon, Writing by Richard Martin, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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