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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 13:39 GMT
Play-offs to miss out on Wembley
By Mihir Bose
BBC sports editor

The pitch and stands of the new Wembley stadium
Wembley will stage the FA Cup final - but not the play-offs
The Football League play-offs at the end of this season are likely to be staged at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff rather than the new Wembley.

The FA Cup final will be at Wembley on 19 May, a week before the play-offs.

But League bosses have until the end of February to commit to Cardiff, and Wembley will not have received its health and safety certificates by then.

"The FA has been unable to give the sort or assurances the League needs," a League insider told the BBC.

"The League was very keen to hold the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in April as a warm-up event but the FA wanted to stage its own warm-up events to be sure of the Cup final and the League had to move it to Cardiff.

"And now it looks very likely the same will happen to the play-offs."

In addition to the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, Cardiff will also stage the League Cup Final in February.

Neither the FA nor the Football League would comment on the issue.

Internal FA documents listing the events for the new Wembley still show the League play-off being staged there.

The document lists various events, including the public open day on March 3, shown either in italics or in bold.

Both the Cup final and the play-offs are shown in bold, suggesting that in the FA's eyes they are a certainty.

But while the FA has control over the Cup final, the play-offs are a League matter.



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