Manchester City will face Liverpool in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley on Saturday, April 16, it has been confirmed.
After both clubs progressed to the last four on Sunday and were pitted against each other in the draw, the aftermath has been dominated by concerns about how supporters of both clubs will travel to the capital from the North West. There are no trains linking London and Manchester or London and Liverpool over the Easter weekend, meaning both City and Liverpool supporters face travel chaos in their attempts to travel south.
The plans have been in place for quite some time for essential maintenance work to take place on the railway network. However, both FA Cup semi-finals will take place across the originally scheduled weekend.
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Despite calls for the contest to be moved to an alternative venue, such as Old Trafford or Villa Park, City will face Liverpool at Wembley on April 16, kick-off 3:30pm. The Football Association has confirmed that they will supply free coach travel to a select number of City and Liverpool supporters to and from both the Etihad Stadium and Anfield for the trip to London.
That service will provide travel for 5,000 supporters overall, with 100 buses set to be chartered from both stadiums. Each club will provide more detail on those services in due course.
A statement released by the FA said : “We are pleased to announce that a limited number of free return bus services will be provided for both the Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup semi-finals involving Liverpool and Manchester City on Saturday 16 April to support fans from the North West who wish to travel to and from London.
“The FA will charter 100 buses from Anfield and the Etihad Stadium respectively to Wembley Stadium and back. This will ensure that up to 5000 Liverpool and Manchester City supporters will be able to travel to Wembley Stadium free of charge for their semi-final tie.
“We’re also committed to provide a number of free return bus services for Manchester City Women supporters travelling from the North West to east London. These bus schedules are subject to availability, must be pre-booked, and the clubs will provide more information in due course.”
City’s clash with Liverpool will also be screened live on BBC One. The other semi-final, which will be contested between Chelsea and Crystal Palace, will take centre stage on Sunday, April 17, kick-off 4:30pm.
Meanwhile, City Women’s FA Cup semi-final against West Ham United will be staged at Dagenham and Redbridge’s Chigwell Construction Stadium, also on April 16. The contest will kick-off at 12:15pm.
Ticket details for both fixtures are yet to be announced.
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