Coventry City v Bristol City latest: Will Carabao Cup clash go ahead?

Bristol City’s preparations for their Carabao Cup clash have been disrupted with opponents Coventry encountering problems with their staium

Bristol City are due to face Coventry City in a Carabao Cup first round clash at the Coventry Building Society Arena.

There are doubts however as to whether the match will be played at its intended venue or even further whether it will be played at all.

City’s opponents were due to play Rotherham United in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday afternoon but had to postpone, owing to the state of their pitch.

An EFL and local referee inspected the pitch on Friday afternoon with the surface being deemed ‘unsafe’ and unplayable’.

Two days on from the postponement and the same duration ahead of when the match is due to be played, there have been only slight developments.

What has happened?

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The Commonwealth Games, which has impacted Midlands clubs such as Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion by moving their games, has now impacted Coventry.

Their stadium was being used for Rugby Sevens matches, meaning that the football grounds staff have been unable to prepare the stadium for Championship football, given the high security around the place.

Sevens matches along with summer concerts have meant that there has been minimal time to get the pitch in order for the season.

What have Coventry City said?

Posted on Monday morning, Coventry addressed their fans with a short statement: “We are awaiting an update regarding Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup game against Bristol City. Once we are able to do so, we will update supporters.”

Despite the ground being where it stages their home matches, they are not the lead tenants at the venue with English Premiership rugby side Wasps being the owners.

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Dave Boddy, the CEO at Coventry spoke to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire gave his opinion earlier in the day on whether their stadium could host Bristol City on Wednesday.

“That’s going to be difficult and I can’t believe it can improve dramatically between now and Wednesday,” he said,

“I also believe that if they are going to do anything in the short term they are going to need time to be able to do anything, so we will speak to the EFL again and see what the options are there.”

What have Bristol City said?

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Posted at lunch-time, the Robins posted a short statement on their social media channels, saying: “We are in discussions with Coventry City regarding Wednesday’s Carabao Cup Round One match and will update our supporters as soon as possible if there is any change to the arrangements for the game.

This is a matter ultimately out of their control as they are not the host club, so they can only plead their case about what the best move is for them.

Suggestions on social media have been to reverse the tie and to give home advantage to City however arranging policing and other matters would be a tough ask at short notice, plus there is an event happening.

What might happen next?

As mentioned, reversing the fixture to Ashton Gate is not possible, as has been revealed by Coventry Live. They have suggested that the game could be played at an alternative venue with Birmingham City’s St Andrews the likeliest of options.

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Coventry ground shared with Birmingham for a season and the Blues are away at Norwich City on Tuesday evening, which means the pitch wouldn’t be subjected to back-to-back matches.

The tie is unlikely to be postponed as Round Two of the Carabao Cup is due to take place the week after next on the week commencing August 22. Both teams are due to be in Championship action next week as well with City at home to Luton Town and Coventry scheduled to host City’s Saturday opponents Wigan Athletic.

A decision should be made before the end-of-play on Monday so City can begin their preparations.