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FA Cup: Football fans finally return for semi-final in test event at Wembley

Around 4,000 fans watched on as Leicester City secured a place in the FA Cup final following a 1-0 victory over Southampton. 

After recent easing of the UK Government’s lockdown measures, new research is being carried out which will allow fans to return to sporting events across the country.

Sunday’s Fa Cup fixture was the first footballing event to take part in the pilot scheme. The FA were allowed to select up to 4,000 fans for this match which is just a fraction of Wembley’s usual 90,000 capacity.

The Lucky Spectators were overwhelmed as they arrived socially-distanced in north-west London where stewards had been busy making sure the national stadium was well prepared.  

All attendees selected had to live within the London borough of Brent as it it is within close proximity of the ground, preventing unnecessary travel throughout the country.

However, football fans lucky enough to be selected for the Government’s test events have to go through a series of checks before and after the match takes place.

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Firstly, all spectators must show a negative lateral flow test result from the last 36 hours and consent to taking part in the Government programme, where their data from the NHS test and trace app can be shared with the local authorities. 

After attending the fixture, fans must take a laboratory PCR test five days later to allow enough time for any contractions to show on the new test. It will also help to detect any outbreaks in the local area. 

Miss the game? Why not catch up with the action. 

Kelechi Iheanacho’s second-half strike proved decisive for the Foxes, who have reached the FA Cup final for the first time since 1969. 

As expected the atmosphere was noticeably different to pre-COVID times, but fans in attendance spoke of how ‘amazing’ it was to watch live football again. Watch the full highlights below. 

The FA and Wembley chiefs are hoping to allocate around 20,000 tickets for this year’s final which will see Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea face Brendan Rogers’ Leicester on May 15.

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