A PETITION calling for new rules meaning sport in Wales will be played behind closed doors to be scrapped has been started.

The Welsh Government announced yesterday that crowds would not be able to attend sporting events from Boxing Day after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

Reaction to the new restrictions from many was not positive, with Dragons rugby chairman David Buttress saying the decision was "horrendous news".

Other critics include the leader of the Welsh Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies, who criticised the decision to release news of the restrictions at midnight.

When announcing new restrictions that ban large outdoor and indoor events, which come into force from Boxing Day, first minister Mark Drakeford said up to 50 spectators would be allowed at community sports events.

The Football Association of Wales has suspended the top two divisions of  football in Wales as a result of the new restrictions.

The top flight JD Cymru Premier and the north and south divisions below it, the Ardal Leagues as well as the women's Genero Adran Leagues are all suspended.

The FAW said it acknowledges the significant loss of income that clubs will incur should if limited to no more than 50 spectators, in addition to the "extreme disappointment" of fans being unable to support their clubs if games are played behind closed doors. 

The National Wales: Fans at Barry Town's Jenner Park Picture: Huw Evans AgencyFans at Barry Town's Jenner Park Picture: Huw Evans Agency

To limit the loss of income and to provide the best chance for fans not to miss out on supporting their clubs, the National League Board felt the suspension of the competitions over the festive period was in the best interest of the game.  

A review of the decision by league administrators will be taken on January 9.

A petition has been started by Ryan Jewell on December 21 demanding that the restrictions on outdoor sporting events be immediately lifted.

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The petition reads: "On the 21st of December 2021, the Welsh Government again made the decision to ban people attending outdoor sporting events.

"Not only will this negatively impact the mental well-being of thousands it will also destroy sports clubs across the country which play such a vital role in their respected communities.

"Please use your democratic voice and show those in power your opposition to these restrictions which will do more harm than good."

For petitions to be considered for debate in the Senedd, they need to have 10,000 signatures.

At the time of writing, Mr Jewell's petition has received more than 3,520 signatures.

To view the petition, click here.

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