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Page last updated at 12:40 GMT, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 13:40 UK

FA seeking to avoid Cup final clash with Premier League

By Julian Shea

Wembley will host Europe's biggest club game for the first time since 1992

The Football Association and Premier League are in talks to avoid a clash between the FA Cup final and Premier League games at the end of the season.

The 2011 Champions League final on 28 May at Wembley means the Cup final must be played on 14 May, a league Saturday.

"It's up to the Premier League and clubs what they want to do," an FA spokesman told BBC Sport.

But BBC Sport understands there is no plan to move the Cup final from its traditional 1500 BST kick-off time.

Until this year, the Champions League final was always played on a Wednesday evening, but the 2011 final will be the second one to be played on a Saturday.

We're delighted to have the Champions' League final here - obviously it has some implications, but the FA Cup final has a vital part in our fixtures and remains our flagship event

FA spokesman

It will be the first time the new Wembley has hosted Europe's most prestigious club game, although the old Wembley staged the final of the competition - then known as the European Cup - five times, most recently in 1992 when Barcelona beat Sampdoria to lift the trophy for the first time.

Under Uefa regulations, no games can be played at final venues for two weeks beforehand, to allow the preparation of the stadium.

That has already caused a headache as it means a clash with the Football League play-off weekend.


The Championship play-off will be played at Wembley on the Bank Holiday Monday, 48 hours after the Champions League final, while the FA has reached an agreement with the Football League for the League One and Two games to be played at alternative venues.

The fixture reshuffle also means the FA Cup final will be shunted from its traditional end-of-season position, although there is precedent for this, as the 2000-2001 final in Cardiff was played the weekend before the end of the Premier League season.

The FA spokesman insisted there was no division between the FA and Premier League over the matter.

"There is a debate about how Premier League fixtures fit around the Cup final," he said.

"This is not a situation the Premier League has created.

"We're delighted to have the Champions' League final here - obviously it has some implications, but the FA Cup final has a vital part in our fixtures and remains our flagship event."

A Premier League spokesman said they were happy to work in partnership with the FA over the matter.

"As a result of Wembley securing the Champions League final the FA Cup final had to be scheduled earlier than normal, and during the league season," he told BBC Sport.

"Once the FA has decided what time the final is to be played we will schedule our matches around that.

"Clearly we will give as much advance notice as possible to fans for the fixtures being re-scheduled."

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see also
Chelsea 1-0 Portsmouth
15 May 10 |  FA Cup
Wembley to host 2011 Euro final
29 Jan 09 |  Europe
Tax break aids Wembley 2011 bid
13 May 08 |  Football

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