Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City has reportedly not been selected by the government as a pilot event for the return of spectators.
Culture secretary Oliver Dowden confirmed earlier this week that plans were in place for one of the two semi-finals to be played in front of 4,000 people. At that point, the decision as to which game would be chosen yet had to be made.
The government are yet to confirm their final choice but Mail Sport claim it is Leicester City’s last-four clash with Southampton that will take place with spectators at Wembley.
However, fans of the two sides will not be given tickets. Instead, residents of the borough of Brent and health workers are likely to be selected to watch the game from the stands.
A total of 14 test events are planned by the government in the weeks ahead in an attempt to ensure people can safely attend sporting events across the country this summer – including the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley – and football fans can return en-mass to stadiums next season.
The FA Cup semi-final between Leicester and Southampton will be one of the first, with the Carabao Cup final on April 25 and the FA Cup final on May 15 also reportedly on the list.
Since the United Kingdom first went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, only four Chelsea matches have been played in front of supporters.
The first was the pre-season clash with Brighton and Hove Albion in which 2,500 supporters were allowed inside the Amex Stadium.
The second came in Russia when Chelsea took on Krasnodar in the Champions League.
Fans returned to Stamford Bridge in December with 2,000 watching the Blues’ impressive victory over Leeds United and a further 2,000 in the stands for the return clash with Krasnodar, which ended 0-0.