Chelsea withdraw request to play FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough behind closed doorways

Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea beat Luton 3-2 in the fifth round of the FA Cup

Chelsea have withdrawn a request for Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors, the Football Association says.

Chelsea initially made the request “for matters of sporting integrity”.

“After constructive talks between the FA and Chelsea, the club has agreed to remove their request,” the FA said.

“The FA remains in ongoing discussions with Chelsea, the Premier League and the government to find a solution that would enable both Chelsea fans to attend games and away fans to attend Stamford Bridge, while ensuring sanctions are respected.”

Chelsea said it was “grateful for the FA’s continuing efforts to help us find a solution”.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said the government is working with the football authorities to allow more Chelsea supporters to attend away matches, but added that any changes must ensure “no additional revenue can be raised given the club is owned by an individual now…