2020 Challenge Cup final confirmed behind closed doors; 2021 final set for July 17

The RFL has confirmed that the 2020 Challenge Cup final will be played behind closed doors for the first time in the competition’s history.

But they have revealed that the 2021 final will be played on Saturday July 17 2021, with ticket-holders given the option for a full refund or to swap to next year’s event.

Plans for a first July cup final in 2020 had been scuppered by COVID-19 and while there had been hopes that the revised date of October 17 would enable fans to attend, the recent changes to Government guidance surrounding the pandemic put paid to that.

Warrington take on Salford and Wigan face Leeds in the semi-finals this weekend for a place at Wembley.

Mark Foster, the RFL’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

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