Jarrow MP urges Government to make Hebburn Town vs Consett AFC FA Vase Wembley final a pilot event so fans can attend 'biggest game in club's history'
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Hebburn are due to take on fellow North East club Consett AFC on May 3 – but as things stand, the match will have to be played behind closed doors due to covid regulations.
Under plans announced by the Government, up to 10,000 people could be allowed in stadiums from May 17 with a number of pilot events taking place before then, including the FA Cup final and the World Snooker Championship.
Ms Osborne encouraged Mr Dowden to work with the FA to add the FA Vase final onto the list of pilot events, allowing fans to attend the event in a safe, covid secure way.
Speaking in the House of Commons, she said: “This is the biggest match in Hebburn Town FC’s history, so I want to add my support to this issue and ask the secretary of state if he will work with the FA to make this final a pilot event for allowing the safe return of spectators to sporting events such as this one?”
In reply, Mr Dowden said: “I share her desire to get sports fans back in stadiums as quickly as we can. It’s important to understand what these pilots are about. They’re about testing fans coming into and out of stadiums, they’re not windows to allow extra events to happen. We will of course keep this under review and if there is a possibility of course I would grab it.”
The department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced it was looking to stage around a dozen sporting and cultural pilot events this spring which will help inform the government on how large scale crowds could return to stadiums safely from June 21.
Hebburn Town booked their place at Wembley back in September and are determined to reward supporters by bringing the Vase back to South Tyneside.
The FA Vase final is currently scheduled to take place at Wembley, behind closed doors on May 3.