SPORTS fans should not expect to be permitted inside stadiums until March at the earliest.

The Welsh Government has responded to an open letter penned by several Welsh sporting bodies and leading clubs which had called on the Welsh Government to relax its restrictions.

The letter was co-authored by the Football Association of Wales (FAW) and Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and warned current restrictions‘in effect closes our businesses to the public indefinitely’.

The letter continued: “The situation is grave; the lack of a clear roadmap for the return of spectators in Wales poses the real risk of bankruptcy for our sports.”

The sporting bodies warned the Welsh Government’s guidance will be a ‘significant roadblock’ that does not offer a sustainable solution.

The clubs have urged the Welsh Government to reconsider its approach to the socially distanced return of fans to sports grounds across Wales.

“Fans have already been allowed back into grounds in England and the clubs have called on the Welsh Government to follow the UK Government’s approach.

“This would allow for test events to be run using the guidance with events taking place as soon as possible.”

However the Welsh Government has remained steadfast in its hardline approach to sport and responded by affirming its position that supporters would not be permitted back inside grounds this year.

It also warned supporters would not likely be allowed to return before March 2021 – representing a potential lethal blow to many clubs already struggling financially without paying fans and sponsorship.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Our approach to easing restrictions is always in the context of the public health conditions and as cases of coronavirus accelerate in Wales and erode the gains made through the firebreak, we are strengthening the national measures in place in Wales.

“We are constantly in touch with stakeholders, including an events industry group meeting today at which Ministers reiterated that events are unlikely to restart before spring - but that we are considering, subject to the public health position in the New Year, further potential test events in February.

However the spokesman insisted all was not lost.

He added: “The longer term position is more optimistic with vaccines and fast track testing likely to provide additional tools to facilitate the safe return of fans to sports grounds.”