EFL Announces Eight Spectator Pilot Matches

Cambridge United thrashed Carlisle United last weekend in the first EFL fan attendance pilot event. (Image credit: Cambridge United)

English Football League (EFL) have announced eight matches from across this weekend’s Sky Bet Championship plus Leagues One and Two will be permitted spectators, as part of a pilot scheme to return fans to stadiums. 

Three matches from the Championship plus League Two had been initially selected whilst League One has been allowed four matches with fans in attendance, although spectator limits have been capped at 1,000 due to on-going discussions with UK Government.

Following the announcement of chosen matches, Luton and Morecambe however withdrew their respective Championship and League Two home matches against Derby and Cambridge United from selection.

It is hoped that an agreement can be reached to allow for fans to return in greater numbers from October onwards

Speaking on the decision to progress with their pilot programme after a successful test at Cambridge United last weekend, EFL Chairman – Rick Parry said; “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phrase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our Clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week

“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely. By extending across more EFL Clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.”

Secretary for State of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden has welcomed the extension of the capped number pilot scheme, saying; “I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome news that the EFL will be running numbers capped, Covid secure and socially distanced pilots this weekend.”

Dowden however iterated that this extension is designed to “… help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Here are the chosen matches from across all three EFL divisions which are permitted to welcome up to 1,000 fans into stadiums across weekend of 19-20 September.

Championship

Norwich City v Preston North End

Middlesbrough v Bournemouth

 

League One

Blackpool v Swindon

Charlton v Doncaster Rovers

Hull City v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Northampton Town

 

League Two

Forest Green Rovers v Bradford City

Carlisle United v Southend United

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