The Football Association (FA) has confirmed it is working with the UK Government to ensure the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Crystal Palace takes place in front of a full house at Wembley Stadium (pictured), with the use of a commercial ticket agency reportedly one means being assessed.
With Chelsea currently being banned from selling tickets to its games under the sanctions imposed by the Government on owner Roman Abramovich, the Russian oligarch who has put the Premier League football club up for sale, measures are being looked into to ensure fans do not miss out on the showpiece occasion set for the weekend of April 16-17.
The Times reports that a commercial ticket agency could be appointed to sell tickets to the FA Cup semi-final, along with the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid on April 6 at Stamford Bridge. With Chelsea currently being unable to receive any income from new ticket sales, proceeds from such a process would reportedly be placed into a frozen account.
The proposal is said to have been lodged with the Office of Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the body which oversees the licence under which Chelsea has been operating since Abramovich had his assets frozen on March 10.
The FA said in a statement yesterday (Monday): “We hope to have sell-out crowds at both of our Emirates FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley Stadium.
“This includes tickets for Chelsea supporters for their match against Crystal Palace, and we are working with the Government on a method to achieve this while respecting the sanctions that are currently in place on Chelsea.”
Chelsea reached the FA Cup semi-finals by defeating Championship club Middlesbrough 2-0 at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
Ahead of that match, Chelsea withdrew a request to play the game behind closed doors. Chelsea had originally asked the FA for the game to proceed without fans, as the club was not able to sell new tickets to the match, to maintain “sporting integrity”.
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