After a long absence, fans returned to a Premier League stadium for the first time since March on Saturday when Chelsea and Brighton played a pre-season friendly match. As many as 2,500 supporters witnessed the match between Chelsea and Brighton which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The 2019-2020 season of the Premier League had returned to action in June following a long hiatus caused by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the remaining season of the league was played behind closed doors due to the concerns regarding the spread of the virus.
Saturday`s friendly match was the first time in six months that fans were allowed at the Amex stadium. Brighton head coach Graham Potter termed it a `fantastic day` and looked at the development as a small step towards normalcy.
"I thought it was a fantastic day - a small step to getting back to normal as soon as we can safely do so," the club`s official website quoted Potter as saying.
"It was so nice to see fans here because as we know it brings a completely different dynamic to the stadium and I thought they made a lot of noise and really got involved in the game. Hopefully, they enjoyed the performance as well," he added.
Ahead of the match, Brighton, in a Twitter post, had shared some of the guidelines that fans were to follow. The club had urged fans to maintain social distancing `at all times` and `face-covering must be worn within the stadium and whilst queuing`.
However wearing a mask was not mandatory while fans were on their seat, eating or drinking.
The 2020-2021 season of the Premier League is scheduled to commence on September 12.