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Football Supporters Hail FA Cup Semi-Final Decision
Friday 18 November 2005
The Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) has welcomed the decision of the Football Association (FA) not to hold FA Cup semi-finals at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium this season.
Last season both games at the penultimate stage of the Cup were staged in Cardiff, a choice that was unpopular with many supporters.
Commenting on the decision, reached after extensive consultation with supporters, FSF chair Malcolm Clarke (a Stoke City supporter) said, “I’m delighted that the FA has listened to supporters. We’ve always thought it was wrong that semi-finals should be played at the same venue as the final. In the particular case of Cardiff it can be very difficult to reach either by road or public transport in a day from England.
“Most supporters who’ve visited Cardiff for the Cup Final have really enjoyed the experience and the hospitality. To ask fans to make this trip twice in one season is too much though. It also devalues the occasion of the final itself.
“That’s why we’re so disappointed that the FA is now contractually locked in to playing all Cup semi-finals at Wembley once it re-opens. We hope that the FA will review this as soon as possible. That said we’re delighted that this season will see the Cup semi-finals played, as they should be, on other neutral League grounds.
“We congratulate the FA on listening to supporters on this issue. We look forward to working them to ensure the Cup remains a central and vibrant part of our footballing life in England and Wales.”
The FSF represents over 124,000 individual and affiliated members supporting clubs and national teams at all levels throughout England and Wales
Malcolm Clarke: 0161-283-0085 or 07939-594730
Ash Connor: 01782-850958 or 07813-154586
Kevin Miles (for comment on international aspects):