Thursday, March 14, 2013
VERY TIGHT SCHEDULE! CHELSEA AND MANCHESTER UNITED TO PLAY FA CUP REPLAY ON EASTER MONDAY
English Premier League sides, Manchester United and Chelsea will replay their FA Cup tie at 12.30pm on Easter Monday, April 1 at Stamford Bridge.
It means Chelsea's Barclays Premier League game against Southampton, scheduled for Easter Sunday, has been moved forward a day to Saturday March 30, kick-off 3pm.
This means Chelsea and United will play two games within the space of 48 hours as the Premier League leaders are playing at Sunderland at 12.45pm on the Saturday.
The replay date will play havoc with TV schedules because Chelsea's game at Southampton was meant to be live.
A statement from the FA said: 'Following consultation with all relevant stakeholders,
The FA can confirm that The FA Cup with Budweiser Sixth Round Proper Replay between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge will take place on Easter Monday 1 April, live on ITV. Kick-off is at 12.30pm.'
The winners will face Manchester City in the semi-finals.
Easter weekend was always the most likely time for the replay to be take place.
The two-week international break starting next Monday meant there were not many opportunities to fit the game in before the Wembley semi-final weekend on April 13 and 14.
UEFA rules that forbid domestic games taking place on the same night as Champions League or Europa League games are only served to complicate the matter.
Finding a suitable date for the fixture proved challenging due to Chelsea's involvement in the Europa League and the confirmed FA Cup semi-final dates of April 13 and 14.
It had been expected the FA would wait to see if Chelsea advance in the Europa League tomorrow before determining a date.
They must overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit to the Romanians to reach the Europa League quarter-finals.
The rescheduling means Chelsea and Manchester United, who visit Sunderland on March 30, play their Premier League matches on the same day, but has irked Southampton.