Fans will be allowed at selected EFL games this weekend 6 days ago

Fans will be allowed at selected EFL games this weekend

The pilot scheme is being undertaken ahead of a proposed return of fans by the start of October

Nine English Football League games this weekend will host up to 1,000 fans in the stadiums as part of the EFL and the government's crowd pilot scheme.

Ten games had originally been chosen as part of the scheme before Luton Town pulled out due to a lack of preparation time.

Three Championship fixtures, four League One games and a further two from League Two will take part in the scheme, which will likely influence discussions between the EFL and the government over a proposed return of fans to stadia by October 1.

Plans to bring fans back into the fold come amid a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across the United Kingdom, with some of the worst affected areas of the UK not able to access testing.

Despite this, EFL chairman Rick Parry believes that fans can return to matches in a safe manner.

"It's encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to 1,000 fans this week," he said.

"The health and wellbeing of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge [a crowd pilot which took place during a September 8 EFL Trophy match], social distancing can be applied safely.


"The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions."

The nine games included in the scheme are below:

Championship

Middlesbrough v AFC Bournemouth
Norwich City v Preston North End

League One

Blackpool v Swindon Town
Charlton Athletic v Doncaster Rovers
Hull City v Crewe Alexandra
Shrewsbury Town v Northampton Town

League Two

Carlisle United v Southend United
Forest Green Rovers v Bradford City
Morecambe v Cambridge United