MX23RW : Thursday, May 6 10:24:28| >> :120:11437:11437:

EFL Cup final 'initially excluded from test event programme'

Finalists Tottenham and Manchester City have been given 2,000 tickets each for the match on April 25.

The Carabao Cup final was initially set to be left out of the Government's test event programme, the PA news agency understands.

The match on April 25 has since been confirmed as the first outdoor sports pilot event with supporters from the teams involved since the launch of the new Government-led Events Research Programme (ERP).

The ERP will test various methods with a view to identifying the safest and most effective ways to allow fans to return to sports events in significant numbers from June 21.

The clubs have been given 2,000 tickets each for the Carabao Cup final, with a further 4,000 distributed to local residents and NHS workers.

Following the publication of the Government road map in February, the EFL indicated its desire for the final to be a test event.

However, it is understood the reason the Carabao Cup final was not announced alongside two other test events – the FA Cup final and the World Snooker Championship – on March 13 was due to uncertainty over whether it would be included in the ERP at all.

After it was decided to include the final, the EFL is understood to have further lobbied for a limited number of fans to be able to attend, after an initial proposal that only local residents and NHS workers be allowed in.

The league announced in December last year that the final would be moved from February 28 to April 25 in the hope of at least some fans being able to attend.

The competing clubs' supporters' groups issued a joint statement on Tuesday night criticising various aspects of the test event, after ticket details and Covid protocols for the match were confirmed.

They said the decision to choose a competition final as a test event was "political grandstanding".

There has also been criticism of the decision to bar the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), those living with someone who is CEV, those who are pregnant and under-18s.

The Tottenham disabled fans' group SpursAbility told PA it was "direct discrimination" to exclude CEV fans, adding that being able to attend matches was a "lifeline" for many who had spent months in forced isolation.

A spokesman for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: "These pilots are the first steps to helping all members of the public safely back to mass events.

"While they were designed to be as inclusive as possible, we have been advised that it would not be suitable on health grounds for the clinically extremely vulnerable to attend such pilot events and potentially be put at greater risk of transmission."

The Crucible Theatre hopes to welcome a capacity crowd for the final of the World Snooker Championship
The Crucible Theatre hopes to welcome a capacity crowd for the final of the World Snooker Championship (PA)

Even though supporters wishing to attend must be able to produce proof of a negative Covid test to enter the stadium, social distancing restrictions will remain in force both for the Carabao Cup final.

This Sunday's FA Cup semi-final between Leicester and Southampton is also part of the ERP and will be attended by 4,000 people, a mixture of local residents and NHS workers.

The first sports pilot event with fans is the World Snooker Championship, which starts on Saturday. The intention is to gradually increase capacity and remove social distancing restrictions at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield as the tournament progresses, with the hope being that the final will be played in front of a full capacity crowd.

ID:443122:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect7061:
Latest coronavirus PSA banner

Coronavirus outbreak - Click here for more stories

Click here for more stories about Tottenham Hotspur

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero pictured in February 2021
Read Next:
Chelsea 'firmly in the hunt for Aguero'
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Manchester CityMan City34255471244780
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd331910464352967
3Leicester CityLeicester34196961392263
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham341771055441158
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs341681060382256
10Aston Villa331461348381048
11Leeds UnitedLeeds34145155052-247
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34119143346-1342
13Crystal Palace33108153456-2238
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton34813133539-437
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3499163656-2036
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom34511183165-3426
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3452271860-4217

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!