Tottenham request to have 8,000 fans back for Everton clash this weekend rejected as Government change Covid rules

TOTTENHAM'S request to have 8,000 fans back inside their stadium for this weekend's Everton clash was rejected due to a change in the Government's coronavirus rules.

Spurs hoped to allow a small percentage of supporters into the £1billion ground and submitted an application.

But despite recent pilot events – such as at Brighton's pre-season clash with Chelsea – a rise in Covid-19 cases looks set to put a hold on the phased mass reintroduction of fans into venues.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Wednesday there would be a review of plans to have spectators at live matches again.

And it is understood Tottenham were among the clubs to see their request for the opening weekend of the new Premier League season denied.

Jose Mourinho goes up against Carlo Ancelotti on Sunday afternoon.

The 8,000 fans would have made up around 7.5 per cent of the capacity at White Hart Lane with 4,000 in premium seats and the other 4,000 coming through general admission.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden did, though, offer hope that fans may be able to start seeing their teams in action from October – and that pilot events were still on course to be staged.

Dowden said: "Further to the PM’s announcement we are reviewing the list of proposed sports pilots ahead of 1 October, in light of the increased number of cases. Details of changes will be announced shortly. 

"We are keeping under review further easements proposed from 1 October but no changes have been announced today – and we continue to plan for the best.

"As I said on Sunday and the PM confirmed today, work continues round the clock on the moonshot project with the ambition of having audiences back much closer to normal by Christmas."

The Government has ordered trials taking place this weekend to be significantly scaled back.

A range of sporting events are due to take place with fans in seats as government scientists test whether social distancing can work in stadiums.

The pilots – which include games in the EFL, Women's Super League, Premiership Rugby matches and T20 cricket ties will now be limited to just 1,000 fans.

The League Two clash between Cambridge United and Carlisle on Saturday was due to take place with 2,500 fans in the stadium but will now have to be reduced.

That was the second in a two-game plan at the U's Abbey Stadium after the 2-0 win over Fulham's kids in the EFL Trophy.

Manchester United had put in place plans for their home game against Crystal Palace on September 19 to go ahead with 12,000 fans at Old Trafford.

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