South Africa eases Covid-19 crowd restrictions for World Cup game

South Africa captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams (R) in action against France at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year.

South Africa captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams (R) in action against France at the Tokyo Olympic Games this year. Creator: Kazuhiro NOGI

A maximum of 2,000 spectators can attend a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia in Johannesburg on Tuesday as the republic eases Covid-19 restrictions introduced last year.  

"The (government) has approved that a limited number of spectators will be allowed back into the stadium," a national football association statement said.

All sport in South Africa was cancelled in March 2020 as the first wave of the coronavirus hit the most industrialised African nation. Play resumed five months later in empty stadiums. 

The lack of spectators inflicted severe financial hardship on the three most popular sports -- cricket, football and rugby.

South Africa has been the country hardest hit in Africa by the pandemic with 2.91 official cases and 88,317 deaths by Sunday.

Long-time strugglers, the national team are enjoying a resurgence in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, leading more fancied Ghana by one point halfway through a six-round mini-league.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: news@pulselive.co.ke

Recommended articles

Paraguay hire Barros Schelotto twins as new coaching team

Paraguay hire Barros Schelotto twins as new coaching team

Qatar World Cup final venue 98.5 percent complete: official

Qatar World Cup final venue 98.5 percent complete: official

Suspended sentence sought for France's Benzema in sex tape case

Suspended sentence sought for France's Benzema in sex tape case

Man Utd aren't finished article yet says Pogba

Man Utd aren't finished article yet says Pogba

Lazio mascot handler praises Mussolini after fascist salute controversy

Lazio mascot handler praises Mussolini after fascist salute controversy

Arsenal boss Arteta confident of Lacazette effort amid contract uncertainty

Arsenal boss Arteta confident of Lacazette effort amid contract uncertainty

Bayern boss Hainer dismissive of  FIFA's biennial World Cup idea

Bayern boss Hainer dismissive of FIFA's biennial World Cup idea

Vaccinated Bayern boss Nagelsmann tests positive for Covid-19

Vaccinated Bayern boss Nagelsmann tests positive for Covid-19

Quick Takes: Robert Lewandowki reveals his pre-match ritual and favourite African teammates

Quick Takes: Robert Lewandowki reveals his pre-match ritual and favourite African teammates