Hopes of Coventry City fans returning to St Andrew’s in October have been handed a further blow with the news that a pilot event has been cancelled.
Fans were allowed to attend elite competitive football for the first time since March on Tuesday when a crowd of 862 saw Cambridge United beat Fulham under-21s in the EFL Trophy.
A further Cambridge test event against Carlisle United was planned for this weekend, with 2,000 fans expected to be in attendance at the Abbey Stadium.
Yet a rise in coronavirus cases in England have meant the government have introduced laws that ban socialising in groups of more than six people.
Whilst the pilot event could still go ahead, it has been scrapped due to Cambridge’s capacity effectively being halved by the rules.
That meant public health authorities felt too many invalid tickets would have been in circulation for fans to attend safely.
A statement from Cambridge United said: “The club had planned for a crowd of 2,000 and had issued tickets accordingly.
“That capacity has now been halved following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday afternoon and in discussion with relevant safety authorities, the Club has had to take the difficult and disappointing decision to play behind closed doors.
“This is no one’s fault – and everyone recognises that the national situation has changed – but it was felt that we would have been left with too many invalid tickets in circulation for a game where safety has to be the number one priority.
“Even with reticketing and regular direct communication to all fans over the next 24 hours, the short timeline means that the club cannot entirely mitigate the risk to fans and stewards of people arriving in good faith for the game with tickets that are invalid and being unable to attend given the reduced capacity.
“Therefore, whilst it is a difficult decision to cancel the pilot, it is the right one in circumstances where we must all prioritise public health and safety.”