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English football club with ground in Wales facing COVID-19 rules breach

Chester FC have been alerted to potential breaches of Welsh COVID-19 regulations by the North Wales Police, for hosting supporters at their stadium for their most recent National League home matches.

COVID-19 restrictions in Wales, which came into force on December 26, mean that all sporting events effectively have to be played behind closed doors. Level Two restrictions state that the number of spectators must be limited to 50.

Chester is an English city and the club play in the National League, the sixth tier of the English football league system — but the club’s Deva Stadium is located wholly in Wales.

Since the new restrictions have been brought in, however, Chester have hosted two games in National League North at the Deva Stadium. On December 28 and January 2, more than 2,000 fans reportedly attended each fixture.

The North Wales Police has informed the club that there could be more breaches if fans continue to attend home fixtures while restrictions are in place.

A club statement read: “This morning Chester Football Club was invited to a meeting with representatives of North Wales Police, Flintshire County Council, Cheshire Police and Cheshire West & Chester Council.

“During this meeting, the club was given a joint letter on behalf of North Wales Police and Flintshire County Council which outlines potential breaches of Welsh Coronavirus Regulations at our fixtures on 28th December 2021 and 2nd January 2022.

“It also states the club may commit further potential breaches if it continues to play home fixtures with crowds while the current restrictions in Wales remain in place.

“We were informed this was based upon direction from the Welsh Government that the premises of Chester Football Club are governed by the Welsh Regulations. The Welsh Government was not represented at the meeting.

“It was agreed that all parties would seek further legal advice given the complex issues and future implications of any outcome.”

(Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

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