02 September 2020

Women’s Super League match between West Ham and Arsenal selected as first competitive match in England to welcome back fans

West Ham have been selected to host the first competitive football match in England with a crowd since the coronavirus lockdown.

The Hammers will host Arsenal at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Victoria Road ground on September 12 in front of 1,000 season-ticket holders.

Victoria Road will play host to West Ham and Arsenal on the second weekend of this season's WSL (EMPICS Sport)

The move comes nearly seven months after the last WSL match in front of fans and six months after Liverpool’s men’s side took on Atletico Madrid in the Champions League which was the last competitive fixture played with a live audience in England before the lockdown.

West Ham manager Matt Beard said: "To be chosen as one of the very first football matches in the United Kingdom to welcome back fans is brilliant - one that the team and I are very much looking forward to.

"The eyes of the country will be on us on Saturday 12 September and it will be a joy to share the occasion of our first league match at our new home with our supporters in attendance, and football fans watching from home."

Hammers captain Gilly Flaherty added: "We have been counting down the days until West Ham United fans could once again watch us in action, and I speak for every member of the team when I say how excited we are that our match with Arsenal will see them return.

"It is only fitting that our first game at our new matchday home would have our supporters in attendance and it will be an honour to once again step out in front of them, hear their support and play for them in just over a week’s time."

The match has been selected as one of the government’s test events as they look to begin welcoming audiences back in a safe manner.

WSL football returns this weekend with Aston Villa hosting Manchester City on Saturday.

NewsChain will bring you a full round-up of all the matches from the first weekend’s fixtures as well as live blogs of Aston Villa v Man City on Saturday and Manchester United v Chelsea on Sunday.

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