South Africa: British & Irish Lions Tour Fixtures Confirmed, to Be Played Without Fans

analysis

The British & Irish Lions tour dates and venues have finally been confirmed after months of revision, but the tour will be played behind closed doors.

It's official. Well, almost. The 12-yearly series between the Springboks and British & Irish Lions will be played in empty stadiums after organisers released a revised itinerary on Friday.

SA Rugby have been lobbying national government to allow a limited number of spectators into stadiums for the eight-match tour. The itinerary sees three Tests between the tourists and current world champions, plus clashes against the local Lions, the Sharks, Bulls and Stormers and one match against South Africa 'A'.

But in a statement SA Rugby said it would be refunding all people who had originally purchased tickets, signalling an acceptance that having fans in stadiums is going to be impossible.

"We are hopeful that restrictions on attendance at sports events will be relaxed but, for the moment, we are planning for an event behind closed doors. If that requirement changes, then we'll assess the options available and make the necessary decisions based on the restrictions in place," said SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.

The fact that the tour will go ahead is a...

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