Preston North End's trip to Cardiff City will be played behind closed doors as Wales tighten restrictions

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Preston North End's trip to Cardiff City in the third round of the FA Cup will be played behind closed doors due to Wales tightening their restrictions on all sporting events.

This decision comes just one day after the EFL confirmed their fixture schedule will go ahead as planned.

Cardiff's upcoming game with Coventry City on Boxing Day has already been postponed due to Covid in the Bluebirds' camp, as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

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Other events, such as Swansea City and Wrexham football matches as well as rugby with Cardiff United (who have also already seen their upcoming games postponed due to Covid) are given the same treatment.

Cardiff City vs PNE will now be played behind closed doors.Cardiff City vs PNE will now be played behind closed doors.
Cardiff City vs PNE will now be played behind closed doors.

Economy minister Vaughan Gething said: "Sporting events over the Christmas period are one of the big highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new Omicron variant is a significant development in the pandemic and could cause a large number of infections.

"We need to do everything we can to protect people's health and control the spread of this awful virus.

"Throughout the pandemic we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear - we need to act now in response to the threat of Omicron. We are giving people as much notice of these decisions as we can.

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"Crowds will come back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favourite sports."

Cardiff released their own statement confirming that the FA Cup clash, due to take place at the start of the new year will be their first home game to be impacted by the changes.

Their statement read: "Cardiff City Football Club acknowledges the instruction from the Welsh government for sporting events in Wales to be played behind closed doors for a limited period of time in an effort to curb the spread of the Omicron variant.

"Following the postponement of our Boxing Day fixture with Coventry City on Monday, this is set to most immediately impact our FA Cup third round tie with Preston North End on January 9th."

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PNE are also set to return to Wales when they face Swansea City on Janaury 22 which could now also be in doubt though there is no confirmation yet for how long the restrictions will last.

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