Doncaster Rovers WILL play in front of a crowd this weekend

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Doncaster Rovers WILL play in front of a crowd this weekend after their trip to Charlton Athletic was selected for a government pilot.

Ten matches across the EFL have been chosen as pilot events for the return of supporters to stadiums, with a limit of 1,000 people permitted entry.

And that will include Saturday’s game at The Valley.

The government will continue with discussions over whether a limited number of supporters can return to grounds across all sports from October 1, as has been planned for some time.

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The ValleyThe Valley
The Valley

Supporters were permitted to enter Cambridge United’s EFL Trophy clash with Fulham U21s last week, marking the first professional football match to have a crowd present since March.

EFL chair Rick Parry said: “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week.

“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely. By extending across more EFL Clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.

“The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions."

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Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome news that the EFL will be running number capped, covid secure, and socially distanced pilots this weekend.

“This will help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so."

Full list of pilot matches: Championship: Luton v Derby, Norwich v Preston, Middlesbrough v Bournemouth; League One: Charlton v Doncaster, Blackpool v Swindon, Shrewsbury v Northampton, Hull v Crewe; League Two: Forest Green v Bradford, Carlisle v Southend, Morecambe v Cambridge.


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