A general smoking ban will be implemented throughout Belgian football stadia from October 16 as a means to aid safe fan attendance during COVID-19.

The ban will apply for top-tier Pro League matches, along with those in the second tier 1B Pro League and Croky Cup competition. The Pro League said the smoking ban has been introduced after consultation with clubs, local authorities and politicians.

A statement read: “The ban on smoking is introduced because the removal of the (face) mask for smoking is not a valid exception to the obligation to wear a mask. In addition, areas reserved for smokers are areas at risk for gatherings and contamination. 

“Under the current circumstances, it is a shared responsibility to safely attend a football match between the Pro League, clubs, authorities and supporters present, so the smoking ban will be enforced from the weekend of October 16-19 and will apply until further notice.” 

Fans returned to Belgian football stadia last month, with up to 9,200 spectators permitted in the country’s biggest venues.

Image: Club Brugge