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South Africa relaxes COVID-19 restrictions for World Cup game

The South African government has eased COVID-19 crowd restriction guildlines placed last year as it will be allowing a maximum of 2,000 spectators to attend a World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

“The government has approved that a limited number of spectators will be allowed back into the stadium,” AFP reported a national football association statement said.

All sport in South Africa was cancelled in March 2020 as the first wave of the coronavirus hit the most industrialised African nation. Play resumed five months later in empty stadiums.

The lack of spectators inflicted severe financial hardship on the three most popular sports — cricket, football and rugby.

South Africa has been the country hardest hit in Africa by the pandemic with 2.91 official cases and 88,317 deaths by Sunday.

Long-time strugglers, the national team are enjoying a resurgence in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, leading more fancied Ghana by one point halfway through a six-round mini-league.

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