NINE Football League clubs have been given the green-light to bring fans back into stadia this weekend.

Games in the Championship, League One and League Two have been selected for trial events as part of the EFL’s ongoing ‘return of fans’ pilot programme.

A maximum 1,000 supporters will be allowed to watch the games, which follows a successful pilot at Cambridge United in the EFL Trophy last week.

Clubs were asked to apply for the trial by 2pm on Tuesday and games at Norwich, Middlesbrough, Charlton, Blackpool, Shrewsbury, Hull, Forest Green, Carlisle and Morecambe have now been given permission to proceed.

Luton were also granted permission by the EFL but have since pulled out of staging a test event as the club feel they have not got enough time to prepare.

Wanderers are unable to apply for the pilot programme while the town remains in local lockdown.

Further tests are planned this month, depending on the success of this weekend’s venture, with a government review expected at the start of next month.

EFL Chair, Rick Parry said: “It’s encouraging that we are in a position to move forward with the next phase of the pilot programme and give a small number of our Clubs the opportunity to welcome back up to a 1,000 fans this week.

“The health and well-being of supporters and their wider communities remains the priority, but as we showed at Cambridge, social distancing can be applied safely. By extending across more EFL Clubs we hope to further demonstrate that the measures developed can allow fans to return in greater numbers from as early as next month.

“The requirement to welcome spectators back through turnstiles has not diminished in any way, the financial challenges facing EFL Clubs have been explained on numerous occasions, they are substantial and a problem that requires immediate solutions."

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden said: "I know that many fans are eager to return to football and that jobs depend on this too, so fans will welcome news that the EFL will be running number capped, covid secure, and socially distanced pilots this weekend. This will help us build the evidence base to see how we can return fans safely in greater numbers as soon as it is safe to do so."