Challenge Cup Final to be played behind closed doors at Wembley

The Challenge Cup Final will be played behind closed doors at Wembley Stadium, the RFL confirmed today.

The showpiece final in London will be played on Saturday, October 17 in front of no fans for the first time in the competition’s history.

“In what has been such a difficult year in so many ways, the confirmation that the 2020 Coral Challenge Cup Final will be played behind closed doors is a huge disappointment, after we had done everything in our power and received such committed support from everyone involved at Wembley in our efforts to allow some fans into the stadium,” the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, Mark Foster, said.

However, the date for the 2021 Wembley Final has already been confirmed for Saturday, July 17.

“We hope the announcement of a firm date for the Challenge Cup Final next summer will provide some compensation for Rugby League supporters, with the hope of a return to something like normality, and brighter times ahead,” Foster continued.

“All the reasons we were looking forward to a first Challenge Cup Final in July in 2020 will hopefully still apply in 2021.

“In such uncertain times, it is a real positive for the game that we are now able to maintain Rugby League’s special relationship with Wembley in both 2020 and 2021 – and we would like to place on record our thanks to all at Wembley Stadium connected by EE as well as everyone involved with our broadcast partners the BBC and our main commercial partners for the competition Coral, for their patience and flexibility in recent weeks.

“Given the impact of the latest announcements from Government regarding social distancing on both the professional and the community game, it is almost certain that there will be implications for the structure of next year’s Challenge Cup. Further announcements on that will be made whenever decisions have been made.”