David Moyes has called on British authorities to explain why fans cannot watch West Ham’s match against Manchester City at the London Stadium when they can watch it at a nearby cinema.
A cinema in a shopping centre just a 10-minute walk from the ground is showing Saturday’s match, which can also be watched in other venues across the country.
For a cost of £7 ($9) fans can watch the game along with members of their household or support bubble, in line with government guidance.
West Ham manager Moyes said he was baffled as to why people could gather indoors to see the game, but not outdoors in a 60,000-capacity stadium.
“I watched the European games this week and have seen crowds back in different countries, and it’s hard to believe we can’t do that,” he said.
“I don’t think any of us want 500 or 1,000 people back in the grounds. We need a good percentage of capacity — 25 or 30 percent. Why can those countries be doing it and not us?”
He added: “And people going watch a game in a cinema, close to here, why can we not be sitting outside in the open air doing it?”
Moyes and two of his players recently had to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.
The Scot, 57, was back on the touchline for last week’s dramatic 3-3 draw at Tottenham.
Premier League clubs have lobbied ministers to ease the coronavirus ban on fans after plans for a phased return of spectators were put on hold due to a spike in Covid-19 infections.
Britain is battling to get a grip on the resurgence of coronavirus, which has killed more than 44,000 people in total — Europe’s worst national toll.
But the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted calls for a second national lockdown, arguing that its tiered system is better suited to targeting regions facing the biggest threat.