Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals could be watched by around 22,500 fans as Wembley bids to host two test events ahead of the Euros… but supporters are not set to return to Premier League grounds before season is out
- Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals at Wembley could see the return of supporters
- Stadium needs to hold two test events ahead of hosting Euro 2020 games
- Fans may have to undergo ‘instant result’ lateral flow tests to get into the ground
- It is also hoped the EFL play-off showdowns will take place in front of crowds
The Carabao Cup final could be watched by around 22,500 fans as a test event ahead of the return of crowds to major sporting events.
While sources have disclosed that the situation is ‘fluid’, the April 25 clash at Wembley could kickstart a summer which would see similar numbers at the FA Cup final, ahead of socially-distanced spectators the European Championship, Wimbledon and other staples of the British calendar including England cricket matches, the Open and the Grand Prix.
The success of the vaccination programme, which has seen more than 15 million given their first jab, has created cautious optimism within government.
Football fans could make their return to stadiums in major cup finals at the end of the season
Westminster officials are pushing at an open door, with the likes of the EFL and Football Association fully supportive of the return of fans when the time is right.
Wembley is staging seven matches at Euro 2020 and will require two test events which will, in all likelihood, be the Carabao Cup final and the FA Cup final, although it is hoped that EFL play-off showdowns will also take place in front of crowds.
Those with knowledge of the matter say between 20 (18,000) and 25 per cent (22,500) of Wembley’s capacity is expected to be filled for the pilot events.
Wembley is set to host the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals at a reduced capacity
The Carabao Cup Final has already been pencilled in as a test event for the new steps which have replaced the old Wembley Way ramp.
For Euro 2020 the figure could rise to 30-35 per cent, without supporters travelling from abroad.
More will be known – and discussions are set to be ramped up – after the Prime Minister announces the roadmap out of lockdown next Monday.
A maximum of 2,000 fans were allowed to attend matches in early December, including Tottenham’s north London derby clash against Arsenal at White Hart Lane
Lateral flow tests, which provide a result almost instantly, may be used at entrances to venues, with fans only permitted inside after recording a negative reading. Attention will also be paid to the avoidance of queues and bottlenecks.
As Sportsmail previously reported, there is an acceptance among Premier League and EFL clubs that the return of fans before the end of the current season is highly unlikely.
However, many clubs are ready to move quickly should the situation change.