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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 May 2006, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
Stolen Cup tickets 'not replaced'
FA Cup trophy
Talks were held between venue safety officials and the FA
Liverpool fans whose FA Cup final tickets were stolen from a delivery van will not receive duplicate versions, the Football Association says.

The FA has been in talks with Cardiff's Millennium stadium about the theft and says there is "no option" but to stand by initial safety advice.

The stadium's Safety Advisory Group had advised against issuing duplicates.

The 1,600 tickets were taken from a Royal Mail van parked outside the club shop of Liverpool's rivals Everton.

Liverpool City Council had said that the football authorities had a "moral duty" to let the fans see the game.

Liverpool FC's chief executive Rick Parry said the situation was "unacceptable".

But on Wednesday, following talks, the FA said none of those who had tickets taken would get replacements for the game against West Ham.

We have no option but to follow the advice and policy of the Safety Advisory Group in the interests of all fans attending the match
Football Association

"The FA has looked at every way of helping the fans affected," an FA statement said.

"The Safety Advisory Group, which has the final say on all safety and security matters for matches at the stadium, has maintained a no-duplicates policy.

"The police have also stressed that anyone found in possession of a stolen ticket will be arrested.

"The FA has enormous sympathy for those genuine fans whose tickets were stolen.

Government call

"However, we have no option but to follow the advice and policy of the Safety Advisory Group in the interests of all fans attending the match."

Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster has called for culture secretary Tessa Jowell to look into the matter "as a matter of urgency".

The stolen tickets, now cancelled, were taken as a postman made a delivery to the Everton Megastore, opposite Goodison Park.

The 1,600 seats at Saturday's sold-out match will be left empty and anyone sitting in them will be ejected by stadium officials.

Paul Sergeant, chief executive of the Millennium Stadium, said safety officials were standing by the policy of issuing no duplicates.

He said: "We're as gutted as the supporters are. We have the potential for 3,200 people turning up for 1,600 seats and that's a recipe for disaster and we're not going to let that happen".


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
"These people deserve to be at the FA Cup final."



SEE ALSO:
FA Cup stolen ticket waiver urged
10 May 06 |  Merseyside
Talks over Cup final ticket theft
09 May 06 |  Merseyside
No FA Cup final for theft victims
09 May 06 |  Merseyside
Warning after FA Cup ticket theft
07 May 06 |  Merseyside


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