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Fans allowed for world championships, but no fancy dress


LONDON (Reuters) - Dressing up as an elf, Elvis Presley or a nun and singing loudly while watching darts at London's Alexandra Palace has become something of a pre-Christmas ritual but things will be a little more sober at this year's PDC World Championship.

The tournament starting on Dec. 15 will be limited to 1,000 fans per night due to the COVID-19 pandemic and fancy dress and football-style chanting will be strictly prohibited. Normally 2,500 fans pack the venue each evening.

"Unfortunately, for this year only, we are unable to permit any spectators on site in fancy dress," the Professional Darts Corporation said. "Christmas jumpers, however, are allowed.

"Football style singing and chanting will not be permitted, however you will be able to encourage your favourite players from your table. Failure to adhere to requests from event security to comply may lead to your removal from the event."

Beer and food can still be consumed at tables limited to four from the same household or support bubble, as long as it is ordered via a mobile app. But for many the thought of a night watching the world's best darts players without the usual accompanying pantomime will be deeply disappointing.

"Don’t really fancy going with my missus & my mum, not my idea of a laugh!," said fan Matty Crook on Twitter.

The tournament will be the first PDC event to have a live crowd since March when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

London is in the British government's Tier 2 restrictions which means a limited return of fans to sporting events is permitted.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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