PARLIAMENT will hold a debate next month over whether to allow spectators back into elite level football matches.

It was triggered by a petition set up in the wake of a government announcement it could be six months before fans could return to games in the top six tiers of English football.

Coronavirus measures have seen matches played behind closed doors since March, with the exception of some test events in August and September.

Plans to step up the programme were scrapped amid rising Covid cases.

Any petition which gets more than 100,000 signatures will be considered for a debate - and the total now stands at almost double that figure.

Several clubs backed the idea and this afternoon it has been confirmed a debate has been scheduled in Westminster Hall for Monday, November 9.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be sending a minister to respond.

Ashley Greenwood set up the petition, which said: "Due to the current issues around COVID places such as France and Germany now allow a percentage of fans to return to football games.

"I ask for the support of this petition as I fear that smaller clubs in particular will go out of business leading to a devastating effect on people.

"This petition is to ask the government to reconsider their judgement on not letting football fans back into the stadiums and reconsider doing this with the right safety measures in place surrounding the COVID-19."