Football has been played with no fans in attendance for close to a year now thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. While some countries have started allowing stadiums to operate with some capacity, that does not seem to be the case for all. With cases spiking, one would think it highly unlikely and unsafe for football to see a full capacity stadium anytime soon. The English Football Association (FA), however, does not feel the same.
England’s iconic Wembley stadium will play host to three fixtures after the country’s Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in May. These games will host a limited capacity audience. These games are the FA Cup semi-final match between Leicester and Southampton on April 18 (4,000 fans), the English League Cup final between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City on April 25 (8,000 fans) and the FA Cup final on May 15 (21,000 fans).
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham, however, said that these matches were an important step towards getting a full capacity Wembley by the end of the men’s Euros.
“We are delighted to be hosting three test events at Wembley and are confident we can offer a safe environment,” he said. “This is an important first step towards getting fans back, with the end goal of full stadia — hopefully by the end of the men’s Euros.”
Wembley Stadium will play host to seven Euro Cup ties, including the semi-finals and the final in July. The FA is hopeful of allowing a larger number of fans for the ties. The final is scheduled to be held on July 11.
With England’s tight coronavirus restrictions scheduled to be relaxed in May, a number of pilot events in sports and entertainment venues have been planned to assess testing procedures on spectators.
One such event would be the snooker world championship scheduled to be held indoors from April 17 to May 3 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The event would allow 1,000 people a day.