FA Cup scheduling leaves Di Matteo bemused

The decision to schedule the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at 6pm on Sunday 15 April has disappointed Blues manager Roberto Di Matteo, who criticised the decision for lacking common sense, the Guardian has reported.

Liverpool will play Everton the day before, and with the Reds reluctant to play on the Sunday – the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 Liverpool supporters were killed – the match between Chelsea and Spurs was always likely to be held on the Sunday despite a request by Chelsea to play on Friday evening.

Chelsea had hoped for an earlier kick-off if the game was to be played on the Sunday as if Di Matteo’s side defeat Benfica in the Champions League, they will face the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final against either Milan or Barcelona just days later on Wednesday 18 April.

Di Matteo said: “We are disappointed and angry…it’s disappointing common sense hasn’t prevailed…it seems our point of view has not been taken into consideration.

The decision was reached by the FA in conjunction with the police, travel authorities, the Football League and television broadcasters.

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