THE long-awaited return of supporters into football grounds in Wales has edged closer, according to the Football Association of Wales (FAW)

FAW officials say they welcome the latest Welsh Government announcement regarding the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

They added that this announcement 'paves the way' for the return of spectators at football matches as well as the return of tournaments and festivals.

6,500 supporters were in attendance in Wales' 0-0 draw with Albania at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.

But, clubs across the country are still waiting to be given the green light for their loyal fans to return to where they belong.

The FAW says it awaits further information and formal guidance on these developments from Welsh Government, which are anticipated to be available next week.

Once in place, updated Return to Play protocols and guidance will be prepared and shared with club throughout Wales.

A spokesperson said: "The FAW National League Board (NLB) has approved the FAW Return to Spectating Regulations and these will be published in due course to the COVID-19 Hub.

"The NLB has also agreed that the FAW should run test events in the coming weeks before a full return to spectators in order to protect the wellbeing of all supporters over a longer period of time."

Spectators have not been permitted at football matches on the Welsh pyramid since the Coronavirus pandemic struck in early 2020.

Football itself has been at a stop-start at all levels in Wales due to the restrictions in place.

The JD Cymru Premier (top-flight) season was the only one in Wales to be completed during the 20/21 campaign.