Sports around the country have come together today to launch a campaign to promote the safe return of fans to live events.
The "For the Love of Sport" campaign, developed by the Sports Technology and Innovation Group (STIG), promotes safety advice to fans and sets out how grounds are publicising they are safe.
The campaign includes a "We're Fan Ready" mark for grounds and venues to use, reassuring fans that sports are united in their commitment to providing a safe environment.
The voluntary mark will show that they have adhered to the protocols and guidance set out by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority (SGSA) and Government.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with the return of fans to live events, in line with Government guidance.
It will be visible from Wednesday 2 December when horseracing welcomes crowds back at selected courses and the English Football League will be among the first professional football clubs to have supporters back in their stands.
Over the weekend, the campaign messaging will be seen by fans as a number of Premier League and Premiership Rugby matches will be played with supporters in attendance and England’s final rugby match of the Autumn Nations Cup will take place in front of a crowd at Twickenham Stadium.
While the overall message will focus on "For the Love of Sport", each sport will integrate their own messaging specific to their club, venue or competition.
This will focus on what all fans need to do in the venue to ensure it is as safe as possible for everyone.
"It is an important milestone to see supporters start to return in small capacities at the weekend"
Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Fans have been greatly missed at our matches, so it is an important milestone to see supporters start to return in small capacities at the weekend.
"The Premier League will be joining organisations across sport to back this campaign and help demonstrate to fans the high safety standards of Premier League club stadiums.
"This marks the first step towards full stadiums and we look forward to continuing to work with Government and the Sports Technology and Innovation Group to agree a roadmap for pilot events that can help our clubs increase to larger capacities in line with the Sports Grounds Safety Authority’s COVID-secure guidelines."
"It’s really important that we all play our part and follow the guidance"
David Ross, Chair of the Sports Technology and Innovation Group, said: "For both fans and sportsmen and women, the love of sports goes hand in glove with the atmosphere in stadiums. Everyone in sports is working extremely hard to get people back to cheering their teams on as soon and as safely as possible.
"Now more than ever, it’s really important that we all play our part and follow the guidance. This will help us keep everyone safe, and over time allow more and more fans back into the grounds."
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "Today is an important milestone in getting fans back where they belong – watching live sport in venues and stadiums.
"Sports and clubs have been working hard with their clubs to be 'fan ready', in line with the Government’s guidelines. This campaign will help fans know exactly how to play their part in supporting safely and minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.
"We're making great progress with vaccines and mass testing and we're working closely with the Sports Technology and Innovation Group. By working together, we'll be able to get crowds back to larger capacities as soon as it is safe to do so."