The EFL has announced the League Cup final has been pushed back with the hope of giving fans the "best opportunity" to attend the match at Wembley.
The final was originally scheduled for Sunday, February 28 2021, but will now take place on Sunday, April 25.
An EFL statement added: “It is the objective of the League to stage the Final with as many supporters in attendance as possible and the decision has therefore been taken to move the Final from its original date of Sunday 28 February 2021 to later in the year.
“The number of fans permitted will be dependent on Government guidance in place at the time and it is hoped that moving the date to later in the year will give Clubs and their fans the best opportunity to attend in person.”
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Current restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic means no supporters are allowed to attend elite sporting events in London, where the final is set to take place at Wembley Stadium.
The capital has been placed under stricter Tier 4 restrictions ahead of Christmas, with health secretary Matt Hancock admitting the measures could be in place for months while the vaccine rollout attempts to combat the emergence of a new coronavirus strain in the UK.
Fernandinho, David Silva and Sergio Aguero of Manchester City pose with the trophy after the Carabao Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on March 01, 2020 in London, England.
Image credit: Getty Images
The League Cup quarter-finals take place this week; Brentford v Newcastle and Arsenal v Manchester City on Tuesday, Stoke v Tottenham and Everton v Manchester United on Wednesday.
The semi-finals are scheduled for January 5/6, and will not be over legs, with both ties to be played at the venue of the club drawn out first.
Manchester City are the current holders, having won the past three editions, and five of the past seven seasons.
Our view: Any chance for fans, why not
The rise in coronavirus cases in the UK has made the experience of returning to matches a short-lived one for many in the country, and while small pockets remain in Tier 1 or Tier 2 and therefore able to welcome fans – just Liverpool, Everton, Brighton and Southampton in the Premier League – the newly-formed Tier 4 means it could be a while before the capital can think about allowing supporters in again.
Pushing back the final makes sense for that reason alone, but it could be wishful thinking to have anything more than a few thousand fans attending the match even in late April, if any at all.
Still, the EFL, Carabao, and the two clubs who reach the showpiece can but hope there is a fall in cases, but as ever, and rightly, safety will forever be the priority.