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Belgrade derby played in front of 16,000 fans


Belgrade (AFP) – A crowd of around 16,000 attended Partizan’s Belgrade derby victory over Red Star on Wednesday in the latest sign that football is starting to edge towards normality following the coronavirus pandemic.

The Serbian government has been loosening lockdown rules and earlier this month it announced that open-air gatherings with an unlimited amount of people would be allowed.

But coverage from television channel RTS appeared to show little sign of health guidelines being in place as Partizan beat fierce rivals Red Star 1-0 in the Serbian Cup semi-final match.

Hungary became the first European country to reopen stadiums to supporters two weeks ago, although with capacities severely reduced due to social-distancing rules.

Belarus was the exception during the pandemic, with the nation never closing grounds or halting football while most of Europe was under lockdown.

Serbian league football resumed on May 29, initially behind closed doors, before the government further eased restrictions.

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