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John Walton Fans walk down Wembley Way in 2019.
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English FA targeting October for fans' return to Wembley
Fans may return for a trio of England internationals.

THE ENGLISH FOOTBALL Association are hopeful of welcoming England fans back to Wembley for October’s triple-header.

By contrast, Stephen Kenny’s first home game as Ireland manager – against Finland on 9 September – will be staged behind closed doors, per government restrictions announced yesterday.

There is no clarity yet on the state of play for the 11 October clash with Wales in Dublin. 

Uefa announced on Wednesday that the September international break will go ahead as planned, with Gareth Southgate’s side set for back-to-back Nations League away fixtures in Iceland and Denmark.

Those matches will be played behind closed doors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but FA chief executive Mark Bullingham is keen to work with the government to allow some supporters in for the home games the following month.

“One decision that Uefa confirmed is there won’t be any fans in stadia in September, from our point of view it is a shame that fans won’t be able to attend any matches in person but we do have great broadcast partners,” he said.

“We hope that by our three home games in October that there will be some change to that and we would like to get some fans into Wembley then.

“To what level, we have obviously got to work out with both Uefa and the government – we are not talking about full stadia but we are talking about having some level of crowds back in October as our goal.”

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England will host Wales in a friendly on 8 October before two more Nations League Group 2 fixtures against Belgium and Denmark.

“We’d love to get fans back in the stadia for all three matches in October,” added Bullingham.

“Uefa have made the decision not to have any back in September for any games. In October I think it will be a different set of circumstances to be discussed.

“We didn’t go to that level of detail on the call today, but I think there could well be a circumstance where you get different approaches from different countries.

“The pandemic is so hard to predict but there are radically different situations in the countries and you’ve got to adapt.”

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