Liverpool and Manchester City FA Cup semi-final to be played at Wembley
Both FA Cup semi-finals will be played at Wembley, despite transport issues between London and the north west of England on that weekend.
The FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Manchester City will take place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday 16 April, the Football Association confirmed on Friday with alternative transport being laid on for fans to get to London.
Railway works hamper semi-final weekend
There are scheduled to be significant travel issues between the north west of England and London that weekend, with no trains running from either Liverpool or Manchester and the capital. The mayors of both cities wrote to the FA earlier this week requesting that the game be moved to a more convenient location for supporters of both teams, pointing out the rising cost of fuel as well as the fact the game is set to take place over a bank holiday weekend.
However, the FA announced on Friday that while the game between the top two teams in the Premier League will still be held at Wembley, they intend to provide 100 free charter buses from Anfield and the Etihad Stadium to transport supporters to London for the game and back to the north west.
In addition, English football's governing body has said it will work with National Highways to "ensure that the road networks are running as efficiently as possible".
FA statement on Cup semi-finals
A statement on the FA's website read: "We recognise the significant challenges that are being faced by some Liverpool and Manchester City supporters, with train services being severely limited due to essential engineering works being carried out over the bank holiday weekend by Network Rail on the West Coast Mainline. On Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April there will be no trains running between London Euston and Scotland on the West Coast Mainline. All services on this route will be affected, including between London and the North West. These planned works will also make services operated by Chiltern Railways extremely busy. Therefore, the FA, Network Rail and Chiltern Railways strongly advise that Liverpool and Manchester City supporters affected should avoid travelling from the North West by train wherever possible and seek alternative travel arrangements."
The statement also said the provision of 100 free buses "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. These bus schedules are subject to availability, must be pre-booked, and the clubs will provide more information in due course."
FA Cup semi-final kick-off times
The game is scheduled to kick-off at 3.30pm local time,(10:30am ET / 7:30am PT) while the other semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace will also take place at Wembley on Sunday 17 April, kicking off at the slightly later time of 4.30pm.