Frida Karlsson, Charlotte Kalla and the other ski stars ended last season without an audience - and the new one begins in the same way.

Spectators will not be admitted to the World Cup premiere in Ruka at the end of November, according to the Finnish Ski Association.

- We considered the issue very carefully in the board and after a thorough assessment we came to the conclusion that this solution is best for both audiences and athletes, says Matti Heikkilä, local competition manager, and adds that the decision has been made in consultation with the Finnish government.

Costly competitions

The recent increased spread of infection is part of the reason for the announcement, the competition's general secretary Seppo Linjakumpu tells Yle.

- If the corona situation had calmed down during the autumn, we would have taken in an audience, but this time we came to this solution, he says.

The competitions will be much more expensive than they normally are.

On the one hand, they must follow the authorities' recommendations regarding events, which means that all active people, coaches and other team members must be coronated.

According to Seppo Linjakumpu, the organizers will have extra costs of hundreds of thousands of kronor.

"Significant sum"

And so they are now losing audience revenue.

- It is a significant sum, says the Secretary General.

Finnish authorities went out on Thursday and warned that the infection had begun to spread at an alarming rate in the country after a long period of positive development.