Talks taking place over fan return with Wembley expected to stage test events

PA Sport Staff

Conversations are taking place over the return of supporters and Wembley is expected to be used for test events, but no announcement is imminent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out a road map for how the UK will come out of its current national lockdown on Monday.

Fans were last allowed into sports grounds in December and spectators being welcomed into venues again should become more clearer next week.

The Carabao Cup final on April 25 has long been a target for the return of supporters, with the showpiece event at Wembley moved back from its original date of February 28.

At the time, the EFL confirmed the switch had occurred to “give clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.”

Tentative conversations continue to take place over spectators being allowed into Wembley for the match between Manchester City and Tottenham, but nothing has been determined over whether it will definitely be a test event for the return of supporters.

The FA Cup final on May 15 is another potential pilot event and both fixtures could act as a test event for the new Olympic Steps at the 90,000-seater stadium.

Work to replace the pedestrian walk which marks the approach to Wembley started in 2020 and a match at limited capacity will be required to test the completed work.

If test events with fans for the Carabao Cup and FA Cup finals were a success, it would open the door for supporters to attend fixtures at this summer’s European Championships.

Other major sporting events in the UK later this year are also being earmarked to entertain spectators and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport remain committed to the return of fans with mass testing and the success of the vaccine rollout adding to a growing optimism that fans could be back in sporting venues soon.

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