Fans will be allowed to attend football in the seventh tier and below, after the government updated its guidance on recreational team sport events. 

Clubs in the leagues below National League North and South will be able to open their gates to spectators for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The decision means a distinction has been drawn between the return of fans to recreational sport and elite sport, where pilots are required before an intended expansion from 1 October.

It comes after more than 30 MPs wrote to sports minister Nigel Huddleston calling for the “urgent return of fans to non-league clubs”.

The letter, which was coordinated by former sports minister Tracey Crouch and Dame Cheryl Gillan, warned that clubs “at the heart of our constituencies” could be “lost forever” if an exemption is not granted.

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