Carabao Cup Final: Tottenham and Manchester City supporters’ groups slam ‘scientific experiment’

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Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
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<p>Tottenham and Manchester City will get 2,000 tickets each for Wembley</p> (The FA via Getty Images)

Tottenham and Manchester City will get 2,000 tickets each for Wembley

(The FA via Getty Images)

Tottenham and Manchester City supporters' groups have condemned the arrangements for the return of fans in next week's Carabao Cup Final, claiming the event is discriminatory and no longer a sporting occasion but a "scientific experiment".

Both clubs have been given 2,000 tickets for Wembley on April 25 but under-18s are banned, and clinically vulnerable supporters and pregnant women have been discouraged from attending, as well as anyone living with someone in either group.

4,000 additional complementary tickets will be given to Brent residents and NHS staff.

All attendees must be tested at a government-approved centre 24 hours before the match and provide proof of a negative result as well as taking two home tests, one before and one after the game.

In a joint statement, the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters' Trust, the Manchester City Official Supporters Club and the City fans' 1894 Group outlined a number of concerns, from the £40 and £50 price of tickets to the travel arrangements for City fans.

"The Carabao Cup final is now not a sporting event, and headlines that it represents 'the return of fans' are misleading," the statement read.

"The event is a football match played as the centrepiece of a scientific experiment in front of some spectators, a small proportion of whom may be fans of the clubs involved.

“We're glad that the risks of taking part are prominent but we question the basis for the strong advice given to clinically vulnerable people, many of whom will have been fully vaccinated, to not apply or attend.

“We would also have liked more explanation of why under-18s are excluded. Given the mix of spectators, the crowd will not behave as a normal football crowd, and so researching its movement and behaviour is of limited value."

SpursAbility, Tottenham's disabled supporters' club, described the conditions as "direct discrimination".

But the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said it "would not be suitable" for vulnerable fans to attend the match because the government's Events Research Programme was set up to study "interventions such as face coverings and social distancing".

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