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Why Man United’s FA Cup semi-final vs Coventry was moved by the FA



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Credit: Manchester United

Manchester United’s clash against Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final was moved by the FA after the Metropolitan Police intervened.

United won in dramatic fashion against Liverpool last Sunday to book their place at Wembley for a third time under Erik ten Hag’s tenure.

After being defeated by their neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup final last term, Ten Hag’s side will be hoping to return to the final of the competition, whilst Pep Guardiola’s team remain in the competition as well.

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They face up against Chelsea in the semi-finals, with the game between those two sides being played on Saturday 20 April at 5:15pm (GMT).

Meanwhile, the FA were forced to bring United’s game forward to 3:30 pm on the following day, after initial plans for the game to go ahead at 4 pm instead.

Why the FA changed Man United vs Coventry kick-off time

The FA requested a later kick-off for the United clash, as they do for many of their live televised fixtures, because of the larger television audiences and advertising revenue.

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However, after conversations with the Metropolitan Police, the FA agreed to a 3:30 pm kick-off on the Sunday after it was deemed to be a “high-risk” fixture, according to MailOnline.

It was stated that police expressed public order concerns about the game between United and Coventry – something that ‘raised eyebrows’ at Wembley.

The report went on to add that FA and EFL sources have both privately expressed frustration at an apparent change of policy from the Met in the last year.

The EFL were said to be ‘furious’ last month at having to bring forward the Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea to 3 pm.

How the game affects Man United’s schedule

With the Reds out of Europe, they are likely to be less impacted than Manchester City in terms of fixture congestion. However, neither Coventry nor Chelsea have any European concerns.

United’s home clash against Newcastle has been rescheduled, with the game originally having been set for the FA Cup semi-final weekend.

Now, Ten Hag’s side have games on either Saturday before their Wembley trip against Bournemouth (13 April) and Burnley (27 April).

Coventry, on the other hand, have a game on the Tuesday following the FA Cup tie but has the same seven-day preparation that United do before the clash.