Wembley welcomes 8,000 fans for Spurs vs Man City in Carabao Cup final as NHS heroes join biggest crowd since crisis
WEMBLEY welcomed 8,000 fans for Sunday's Carabao Cup final clash between Tottenham and Manchester City.
It is just the second time the national stadium has allowed supporters through the doors since the pandemic began.
Last weekend, 4,000 fans were in attendance as Leicester beat Southampton to reach the FA Cup final.
But for Sunday's Carabao Cup final, 8,000 supporters have been allowed in – nearly 10 per cent of the stadium's overall capacity – as fans prepare for a summer festival of live sport after months of brutal lockdown measures.
That is the highest number of spectators for any outdoor UK activity since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Next month, it's expected 21,000 fans will be allowed in for the FA Cup final between Leicester and Chelsea on May 15, also at Wembley as the country continues to open up from the latest lockdown restrictions.
Ahead of the Carabao Cup showpiece, both Spurs and Man City were given allocations of 2,000 tickets apiece.
The remaining tickets have been shared around among local residents and NHS heroes.
However, there are rules for those heading to the cup final.
No fans under 18 years old have been allowed in, while extremely vulnerable people – those who had been, until very recently, shielding – and pregnant women had been urged to stay at home.
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For those who were lucky enough to get tickets, they were forced to undergo a lateral flow test at a designated site, rather than at home, in the 24 hours before kick-off.
All 8,000 fans will also have to show proof of a negative test result to be allowed into the ground, with police and ground staff patrolling to ensure social distancing was still being observed.
And having jumped through all the hoops, fans descended on Wembley in carnival atmosphere on Sunday.
Supporters threw on club colours, draped scarves around their necks and strolled up Wembley Way in preparation for the big game, with kick off set for 4.30pm.
Many football lovers even took another swipe at the failed European Super League shambles, wearing scarves which read: "Football is for the fans."
The Premier League 'Big Six' were amongst 12 clubs to sign up for the breakaway competition, before they all pulled out following an incredible fan backlash.
Supporters have protested outside stadiums including Anfield and Old Trafford this weekend, with the anger also being shown at Wembley.
But for most, fans were just happy to be back watching live football ahead of what could be a bumper summer of action.
Around 22,500 are expected to be allowed into Wembley for this summer's Euro 2020 games.
The national stadium will host eight matches – England's three group games, two last-16 ties, both semi-finals and the final – as fans prepare to make up for lost time.
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