EFL ‘considering’ fixtures change to enable fans to return early

The English Football League is reportedly looking to move their entire Tuesday programme of fixtures next week to Wednesday to enable fans to return.

The Telegraph have reported that the governing body is eager to offer EFL clubs the opportunity to welcome fans back next week following a decision by the UK Government.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that fans would be allowed to return to football stadiums once the second national lockdown ends on Wednesday, December 2.

At that point the country will be put back into a tier system, with some fans across the country able to watch their teams once again, while it’s highly like others will be faced with the same restrictions when it comes to watching their sides play.

Lincoln City are due to host Wigan Athletic on December 1.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that football fans can return to stadiums in Tier 1 and Tier 2 from Wednesday, December 2, when the UK exits national lockdown. Those areas in Tier 3 however, will be forced to continue behind closed doors.

Johnson warned that some areas will face harsher restrictions than the previous three-tiered system before the second lockdown and each area will learn their fate on Thursday.

“That will be announced on Thursday. The reason for the delay is quite simple, we need to see the data as it comes in,” the Prime Minister confirmed at the House of Commons.

“Of course, we will work with local authority leaders about which Tiers they need to apply but in the end, we have to make some decisions and get on and do.

“We saw with the last time, Liverpool springs to mind, that went early and shows they have been most successful in getting the averages down. Some of the things we’ll look at to decide will be case detection rates in groups, case detection in over 60s and the pressures on the NHS in each region.”

Johnson outlined that outdoor venues that are in Tier 1 areas (of lowest risk) will be allowed to host 4,000 spectators or fill 50% of their capacity (whichever is lower).

Outdoor venues in Tier 2 areas will be able to welcome 2,000 spectators or 50% of their capacity back into their stadiums but Tier 3 will continue to play behind closed doors.

The Prime Minister said: “In Tier 1 and Tier 2 spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing providing more consistencies with theatres and concerts.”

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