London clubs to play home games behind closed doors

The Premier League clubs in London may play their upcoming home games behind closed doors after the capital was moved to the highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions.

The likes of Arsenal, Fulham, and West Ham will play their Premier League games slated for Wednesday in empty stadiums, although they hoped they would welcome 2,000 fans into the grounds.

It was announced some weeks back that close to 2,000 supporters would be allowed into football games for the first time since March.

This was coming after London was placed in tier two after the second lockdown. However, the move to tier three means that the influx of spectators in stadiums was short-lived.

West Ham enjoyed the presence of 2.000 fans when they welcomed Man United to the London Stadium on December 5, although they ended up losing. However, no fans will be allowed into the ground for the home game against Crystal Palace.

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Arsenal FC have expressed disappointment over not being able to host fans for the game against Southampton at the Emirates, while Fulham have disclosed that they understand the frustration and disappointment that their fans will be going through.

The only midweek Premier League fixture that will see the presence of fans is Anfield where Liverpool will host Tottenham.

The three London clubs in Chelsea, Tottenham, and Crystal Palace will feel more of the effect when they play at home behind closed doors this weekend.

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard who will welcome West Ham to Stamford Bridge at the weekend has opined that it would be difficult to go back to playing without fans.

“We’ve seen already and felt the backing they give you and what it does to the game,” he said.

“I also think – I’m not telling the Government what to do – that we can control 2,000 fans coming into the stadium if they’re coming from within that tier or however they want to do that to keep things moving along. It’s unfortunate to say the least.”

It has been disclosed that only Everton, Brighton, Liverpool, and Southampton will be allowed to host 2,000 fans until the restrictions are eased.