Sports fans will not return to stadiums in October, Michael Gove confirms
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the Minister for the Cabinet Officer responded to questions about the government's live sports spectators scheme - which originally planned for supporters to be gradually reintroduced to grounds in greater numbers across Britain from next month.
Sports fans will not return to stadiums on October 1 as originally planned, Michael Gove has revealed this morning.
Appearing on BBC Breakfast, the Minister for the Cabinet Officer responded to questions about the government’s live sports spectators scheme – which originally planned for supporters to be gradually reintroduced to grounds in greater numbers across Britain from next month.
However, according to Gove, the plan has now been placed “on pause.”
“It was the case that we were looking at a staged programme of more people returning; it wasn’t going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans,” Gove reiterated during the liver interview.
“We are looking for the moment at how we can pause that programme.”
Several fixtures across team sports in England, including football and rugby, had previously been earmarked as occasions where small numbers of fans could attend.
1,000 Blackpool supporters visited Bloomfield Road for The Seasiders’ League One fixture with Swindon Town on Saturday; with the hosts emerging 2-0 winners.
The idea was to slowly increase capacity moving ahead, but this is now being halted indefinitely.
Britain is suffering the start of a second coronavirus wave, and it appears unlikely that supporters will return to seats in big numbers before Christmas.
However, Gove admitted that the government still have plans to get larger crowds back inside sporting arenas in the future.
“What we do want to do – as and when circumstances allow – is get more people back,” said Gove.
“The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors.
“But again, it’s in the nature of major sporting events that there’s a lot of mingling.
“People look back now at the beginning of the pandemic and look at some of the major sporting events and ask: ‘Why were they allowed to go ahead?’.
“One of the things we must do now, whatever the wisdom of decisions made then, is to look at sporting events with caution.”
Gove also admitted that sport is set for a “challenging time”.
The UK recently moved to Level 4 on the alert system – meaning the virus “is in general circulation; transmission is high or rising exponentially”.
Pubs and restaurants nationwide are set to be hit with curfews later this week, whilst tighter restrictions have been placed on over 11 million people across the country.
‘Sad news’ – the world’s only Vagina Museum has been forced to close
There’s a museum for just about everything these days (we all remember trips to the Stockport Hat Works museum) – but the world’s only space dedicated to vaginas has been forced to close again.
The world-first Vagina Museum announced this week that it’s had to vacate its premises and has once again been left ‘homeless’.
The museum, which welcomed 40,000 visitors in the 10 months it was open, was founded to raise awareness of the gynaecological anatomy and health, erase stigma, and act as a forum for feminism.
Inside, visitors could browse everything from educational materials to art pieces inspired by vaginas and vulvas – including giant tampons decorated in red sequins.
The Vagina Museum said it was ‘disappointed’ that it has been asked to leave its space, adding that it will continue to operate digitally until it finds a new base.
They wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the museum’s achievements.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture