The Metropolitan Police has requested that a game be switched to a 3pm kick-off, categorizing it as ‘high risk’. They are working with partners to agree on the kick-off time, as national guidance recommends it not be later than 3pm for such fixtures. This request is somewhat unconventional as previous cup finals between the teams had later kick-off times, without any apparent issues. Nonetheless, negotiations about the timing of the clash are ongoing, with the original 5.30pm start being brought forward to 3pm due to concerns about excessive drinking and the potential for violence.
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The spokesperson from the Met stated that preparations for the EFL Cup policing operation are underway, emphasizing the ‘high-risk’ category of the fixture. The request from the Met may raise some eyebrows, given the past kick-off times for similar matches and the lack of trouble at these events. However, discussions on the timing of the match are continuing, with the police’s concern being the potential for increased drinking and its link to violence and unruly behavior.