[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Universities have the green light to stage the 2022 FNB Varsity Cup tournament at their stadiums, thanks to the government’s easing of regulations to an Adjusted Alert Level 1 COVID-19 lockdown – citing the fact that South Africa has now exited the fourth wave.
On 12 January 2022, FNB Varsity Cup announced that the 2022 FNB Varsity Cup Rugby tournament will be played on university campuses with 2000 fans allowed into the stadium per game. According to the South African government, the adjustment in COVID-19 regulations allow for no more than 1 000 people indoors and 2 000 people outdoors. In 2021, sports gatherings and tournaments were played in bio-bubbles due to stricter COVID-19 regulations.
“Having fans back in the stadiums is an amazing experience because every team feeds off the energy that the crowd brings to the occasion. This helps the hosting team perform even better,” says Kelvin Kanenungo, UJ Rugby Co-Captain.
Various sports stakeholders have welcomed the adjusted regulations. Some fans flocked to stadiums in some matches such as the ODI Series between the Proteas and the Netherlands at the SuperSport Park between 26 November and 1 December 2021. In the World Cup qualifying games for Bafana Bafana in November 2021, 2000 fully vaccinated fans were also allowed into the FNB stadium.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. The energy around Varsity Cup as a whole is really amazing, meeting new people, singing and chanting together to back our boys brings an exhilarating atmosphere in the stadium. It has not been the same without the fans. I miss the vibe, energy and the loud cheering of fans when UJ scores a try,” says Tokelo Dhlamini, a BCom Honors in Information Management student.
All participating teams will be hoping to get the much-needed motivation from cheering fans with cheers. This could not have come at a better time for Varsity Cup teams as 2022 is the promotion and relegation season. At the end of the tournament, two bottom teams on the log be relegated from the FNB Varsity Cup Rugby tournament to the lower rank FNB Varsity Shield.
“It feels exciting to know that as fans we will be allowed back in the stadiums. I am happy that students are also back on campuses – this will boost the number of attendees. Certain games are not broadcast, and we have had to keep track of the live scores on social media whereas when you are in the stadium you have first hand experience,” says Noko Maremane, a BSc Honors in Energy Studies student.
Checklist for fans interested to watch the 2022 FNB Varsity Cup Rugby tournament live:
-Must be fully vaccinated
-Have a valid ticket purchased online
-Have an ID
-Face mask and observe COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing in the stadium[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]