The Football Association has shelved plans to allow a limited number of Liverpool and Arsenal fans to attend the Community Shield.
Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League champions and FA Cup holders are scheduled to meet at Wembley in just over a fortnight’s time and the governing body had been contemplating using the fixture as a test event.
Leicester City vs Aston Villa, way back on March 9, was the last domestic football fixture which saw supporters attend.
According to the Daily Mail, the government was initially keen on the idea of allowing a small number of spectators to cheers on their respective teams during the season’s traditional curtain-raiser.
However, after similar tests in county cricket and snooker had to be abandoned due to a rise in Covid-19 cases, the FA has reluctantly been forced to follow suit.
The World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and a county match between Surrey and Middlesex allowed spectators in as part of a trial, but that was abruptly halted after the government changed their guidance in the wake of an increase in infections.
The government announced last month it hoped to be able to allow fans into Premier League games and other sporting events from October 1, subject to coronavirus guidelines.
But it remains to be seen whether that will go ahead. In addition to the complexity of sorting out ticketing and security, the cost of allowing just a few thousand fans to attend the game at Wembley is understood to be prohibitive.