The English Football League (EFL) said on Tuesday it has received government approval to stage pilot events where up to 1,000 fans can attend matches at stadiums this month.

Football has been played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic but some clubs have staged test events with a limited number of fans, with social distancing protocols in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The return of fans to stadiums has been high on the agenda of clubs across the country due to the financial strain caused by the lack of income from ticket sales.

“The EFL remains in discussions with the government about the pilot programme which may include a limited number of further pilot matches during September with capacity limited to 1,000,” an EFL spokesman said.

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