Liverpool & Man City get 100 free buses for FA Cup semi-final after criticism of staging game at Wembley

14:17 EAT 25/03/2022
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A meeting between two heavyweight outfits from the north west of England will take place in London, but travel assistance is being provided

The Football Association has confirmed that the FA Cup semi-final clash between Liverpool and Manchester City on April 16 will take place at Wembley Stadium, but 100 free buses are being laid on for supporters following criticism of the decision to stage a meeting between two northern superpowers in north London.

Questions had been asked of why two clubs from the north west should be forced to make their way down to the capital that weekend when a lack of train services would make getting to Wembley problematic.

Semi-final encounters used to be held at venues such as Old Trafford and Villa Park, which would have been much easier for Reds and Blues followers to get go, but the FA has locked in a date at the home of English football and vowed to provide travel assistance to those intending to make a long journey south.

What has been said?

The FA has revealed that the meeting between Liverpool and City will take place on Saturday April 16 at 3:30pm BST (10:30am ET).

City’s women’s team are also due to be in last-four action on the same day as the men, with an outing against West Ham due to kick-off at 12:15pm BST (7:15am ET).

Regarding the travel issues those in Manchester and Merseyside are facing, a statement from the FA on the organisation's official website reads: “We recognise the significant challenges that are being faced by some Liverpool and Manchester City supporters with train services being severely limited due to essential engineering works being carried out over the Bank Holiday weekend by Network Rail on the West Coast Mainline.

“We are pleased to announce that a limited number of free return bus services will be provided for both the Emirates FA Cup and Vitality Women’s FA Cup semi-finals involving Liverpool and Manchester City on Saturday 16 April to support fans from the north west who wish to travel to and from London.

“The FA will charter 100 buses from Anfield and the Etihad Stadium respectively to Wembley Stadium and back. This will ensure that up to 5,000 Liverpool and Manchester City supporters will be able to travel to Wembley Stadium free of charge for their semi-final tie.

“We're also committed to providing a number of free return bus services for Manchester City Women supporters travelling from the north west to London.

“These bus schedules are subject to availability, must be pre-booked, and the clubs will provide more information in due course.

“In addition, we are working with our partners at National Highways to ensure that the road networks are running as efficiently as possible over the Easter period. Hundreds of miles of unessential roadworks will be put on hold to help supporters enjoy the occasion and enhance their journeys, and these motorists are encouraged to make sure that their vehicles are roadworthy before setting off.”

When did FA Cup semi-finals move to Wembley?

The odd semi-final was held at Wembley prior to the venue’s costly reconstruction, with Paul Gascoigne netting a famous free-kick for Tottenham against arch-rivals Arsenal at an iconic stadium in 1991.

Both last-four showdowns were staged at Wembley in 1993, when Spurs met the Gunners once again and there was a Steel City derby date between United and Wednesday of Sheffield.

Once the ground had been given a serious facelift for the 21st century, the FA decided that all FA Cup semi-finals would be staged at their shiny new home from 2007-08.

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