“Thousands Crammed Like Sardines in a Tin”: Gary Neville Condemns Wimbledon Championships 2021 Hosting Full House

Published 06/16/2021, 6:23 AM EDT
WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates victory with the trophy after the men’s singles final match against Andy Roddick of USA on Day Thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. Federer won 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 16-14. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Manchester United legend and former England international Gary Neville has lambasted the organizers for allowing packed houses in the finals of Wimbledon Championships 2021.


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The All England Club recently made it official that the men’s and women’s singles finals at this year’s Wimbledon Championships will see full capacity crowds. This comes at a time when restrictions on movement and public gathering continue across Britain to contain the spread of COVID-19. The organizers had earlier held back their decision on ticketing and crowds till closer to the tournament.

Wimbledon Championships 2021 to be first outdoor sports in UK to allow capacity crowds


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Sharing a report by Martyn Ziegler for The Times, London, Gary Neville tweeted his misgivings on the news of the organizers deciding on packed stands in the singles finals.

In a cheeky reply to Ziegler sharing the welcome news on Twitter, the former England right-back said that while one can’t dance at a wedding in the country because of the COVID curbs in place, one can drown himself in champagne at the All England Club at the Wimbledon finals.

“Can’t dance at a wedding but can stuff strawberries and champagne down your neck at The All England Club packed with tens of thousands crammed like sardines in a tin,” the football legend tweeted.

The Wimbledon finals would be the first outdoor sports event in the country to see capacity crowds. Even the four matches of the ongoing Euro 2020 at the iconic Wembley stadium, including the final, would only see 50 percent occupancy in the stands.

Wimbledon is tipped to draw close to 15K fans for the finals

The center court at Wimbledon is tipped to draw 14,979 spectators for the singles finals, marking the first time since the pandemic struck the country in March last year that an outdoor sports event will have capacity crowds.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland at the net following victory in his Men’s Singles final during Day thirteen of The Championships – Wimbledon 2019 at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Watch This Link: When Roger Federer Toyed With His Opponent So Bad He Asked Advice From Andre Agassi in the Crowd

During the rest of the tournament, the plan, according to the Times report, is to allow 21,000 spectators, half of capacity, across the venue.


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Eight-time champion Roger Federer has identified Wimbledon as his priority event this year, while current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be eyeing the championship crown in his bid to win a calendar Slam.

Rafael Nadal has sought some time to recover from an arduous clay season which climaxed with a disappointing semi-final exit at Roland-Garros before deciding on traveling to All England.


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On the women’s side, Serena Williams would look to end her prolonged wait for a 24th Grand Slam crown on the lawns of Wimbledon while a host of other top rivals will also fancy their chances.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.