Former Fifa vice-president Jim Boyce has called on the Irish FA to convince the NI Executive that 3,000 fans can attend the Irish Cup final.
Backroom staff and club officials will join the players at Windsor Park for the semi-finals on Monday, July 27 but no spectators will be able to watch Ballymena United face Coleraine and Glentoran take on Cliftonville.
The Executive have agreed that the matches can go ahead but the green light has yet to be given for spectators to attend the decider at Windsor Park on Friday, July 31.
The Irish FA are hopeful that some fans will be allowed to attend the showpiece occasion and former Cliftonville chairman Boyce believes 3,000 can be accommodated with social distancing measures in place in a stadium which holds a crowd of more than 18,000.
It's understood the Association would like at least 6,000 fans to attend the Northern Ireland v Norway clash on September 7 but an attendance of around 1,000 might be more realistic for the Cup decider.
Former Irish FA president Boyce, however, argued: "In my opinion we could now easily have 3,000 in the National Stadium safely socially distanced, and I also agree with the Cliftonville chairman, Gerard Lawlor, that we need to get back to playing football.
"I see no reason why the league should not start in late August with all grounds starting off with 50% capacity.
"Football must return when it's safe. If indoor weddings can now be held with no restriction on numbers surely we need guidance soon on numbers for outdoor events as it is continually stated it is much safer to contain the virus spread outdoors."
Irish FA president David Martin says the Association hope some fans can be welcomed to the National Stadium for the final.
“The two semi-finals will have limited numbers of personnel including directors,” said Martin.
“We hope to have some spectators at the final but it would be a limited crowd. We have been talking to government and I wouldn’t speculate on numbers. Discussions are ongoing.
“We will work towards having as many fans in the stadiums as we can for any game. The picture can change from week to week as we come out of lockdown. It’s one step at a time for the game and we are all looking forward to some action returning. As the games draw nearer we should learn more.
“We are also at the advanced stages to play the Irish FA Youth Cup, the Junior Cup and Intermediate Cup over the period July 20 to July 29.”
The four remaining Irish Cup teams have undergone a round of Covid-19 testing and they are all expected to use different changing rooms on the day of the semi-finals.
Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said this week: “I would hope that further relaxations and news on a return for spectators to sporting events will be announced in due course.”
Meanwhile, Cliftonville and Ballymena United have both appealed suspensions affecting the Irish Cup games.
Cliftonville ace Jamie Harney faces a one-match ban, ruling him out of the semi-final, while Reds defender Garry Breen could potentially miss the last-four clash and the final as he has a two-match suspension hanging over him.
Ballymena United player Steven McCullough has a one-game ban, as has Sky Blues manager David Jeffrey, denying him the chance to be on the sidelines for the semi-final against Coleraine.
It’s understood Dungannon Swifts have also lodged an appeal over suspensions.
• Derry City returned to action in a friendly at Dundalk yesterday with Walter Figueira scoring for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.
Fixture details for the rest of the League of Ireland season will be released on Monday.