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FA Cup, Carabao Cup finals could be test events for return of fans to stadiums

Tottenham face Manchester City in 2021 Carabao Cup final on April 25; 2021 FA Cup final set for May 15 with eight clubs left in the competition; quarter-final draw is Leicester vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Sheffield United, Everton vs Manchester City and Bournemouth vs Southampton

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Rob Dorsett says football authorities are hoping 30,000 fans could be in attendance at Wembley Stadium for the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals

The FA and EFL are working with Government in an attempt to get fans back inside Wembley for the two season showpieces - the FA Cup final and the Carabao Cup final.

Ultimately, it will be a Government decision based on whether the coronavirus pandemic is sufficiently under control to allow a staged return of fans to football stadia.

But the hope is to have one third of Wembley full of spectators by the time the finals are played, in late April and mid-May, providing it is safe to do so.

That would mean 30,000 fans in attendance for each of the finals.

Which clubs will be at Wembley?

Tottenham face Manchester City in the 2021 Carabao Cup final on April 25

Eight teams are left in the FA Cup. The quarter-finals will see Leicester vs Manchester United, Chelsea vs Sheffield United, Bournemouth vs Southampton and Everton vs Manchester City.

There has been no official comment from the FA or EFL on the matter, but it is clear both are keen to get fans back as soon as possible.

The two finals have been identified as key milestones which could act as test events for the wider game, and - crucially - ahead of this summer's Euros.

In December, the EFL moved the Carabao Cup final from February 28 to April 25 to give it the best chance of having supporters inside Wembley.

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The FA is very keen to have fans inside the stadium for the FA Cup final on May 15, with the Euros starting just four weeks later.

Wembley is due to host seven matches at the tournament - all three of England's group games, a last-16 clash, both semi-finals and the final.

Having supporters inside Wembley for the FA Cup final is seen as a key indicator of whether empty stadiums can be avoided for the upcoming tournament matches.

UEFA is due to make a decision next month on how and where the Euros will be staged.

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