CHESTER FC's scheduled home game against Brackley Town on Saturday has been postponed amid the ongoing border row over Welsh Covid regulations.

The club faced the prospect of either playing its home fixture behind closed doors or risk being fined by Welsh authorities over Covid restrictions have been in place in Wales since Christmas, preventing more than 50 spectators from attending a sporting event.

The English National League North outfit have been warned they may have breached Welsh coronavirus regulations by hosting crowds at two matches over the holiday period, in draws played out on December 28, 2021 and January 2, 2022.

In the latter fixture, smoke bombs being thrown on to the pitch from the away stand resulted in Cheshire police launching an investigation to find the culprits.

Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said over the weekend that Welsh Government officials would be discussing the issue with the club, police and local authority.

But given the lack of a definitive solution, the club has taken the decision, in agreement with the National League, to postpone Saturday's match.

The Under 19s National League Academy Cup tie with FC Halifax Town, which was due to be held at the Deva Stadium on Wednesday evening, has also been postponed.

A club statement said: "We have met with Welsh Government, Flintshire Council and Cheshire West and Chester Council, however do not yet feel that this matter has reached a definitive resolution and will be obtaining further legal advice.

"Whilst enforcement action remains a possibility, we are not prepared to risk the security of the Club or our supporters, as such the Board have made the difficult decision to postpone this week's home fixtures.

"Open, constructive discussions are continuing with a shared commitment to identifying a long-term solution that recognises the unique geography and historical context of the Deva Stadium site.

"The Board will be seeking advice in respect of the potential breaches of the Welsh Coronavirus Regulations, which legislation will be applicable to the Club in the future and to establish any implications the Welsh Government's proposed offer of financial support may have as an English football club.

"We are a supporter-owned, community football club and the events of recent days have been especially challenging, therefore we are extremely grateful to our fans for their unwavering support.

"The Board also wishes to place on record our thanks to the National League, Brackley Town and FC Halifax Town for their understanding and cooperation.

"We will provide further updates as work to achieve a satisfactory outcome for all parties progresses."

There is speculation that today (Tuesday, January 11) will see Covid restrictions eased in Scotland, allowing all spectator sport to continue without artificial caps on the number of supporters. Since Boxing Day, Scotland has limited fan numbers to 500, although the impact on Scottish football was limited due to the winter break.

Chester FC's next scheduled home game is not until February 5, when Covid restrictions may well be eased in Wales, with case rates now looking to have passed their peak across all home nations.