Friday 26 February 2016

Arsenal And Hull FA Cup Fifth-Round Replay Set For March 8

The FA Cup fifth-round replay between Hull City and Arsenal will be played on Tuesday, March 8 according to the confirmation made by the Football Association. Discussions were held with all parties ahead of the replay, which will take place at the KC Stadium with a kick-off of 7pm.

A statement on the FA website said it recognised “this is not an ideal solution for everyone" and called for football bodies to come together to "resolve the overcrowded and untenable fixture schedule” in the future.

The re-arranged match could have serious repercussions for the Premier League title race as it means Arsenal face four key games in 11 days. They host Swansea on March 2 before travelling to White Hart Lane to play rivals Tottenham the following Saturday before their replay with Hull in midweek. West Brom then visit the Emirates on March 12. There is no let-up for Arsene Wenger's side the following week either as they travel to Barcelona for their Champions League last-16 second leg before they go to Everton on March 19 in the Premier League.

Hull are involved in a promotion race in the Sky Bet Championship and now face five games in 16 days as part of a hectic schedule, which culminates in a title showdown with Middlesbrough on March 18. It also means their game with Brentford set for March 8 has been postponed. A statement on the FA website said: "It does strengthen the case for footballing bodies to work closely together in a positive, collaborative way to resolve the overcrowded and untenable fixture schedule.

There was an option for a 5.45pm kick off, however, the spirit of The FA Cup is strongly defined by the supporters and an earlier time would have significantly impacted on fans' attendance. This was not a viable solution."

FA chief executive Martin Glenn added: "We want all of our clubs to be part of strong, vibrant domestic competitions, to perform well on the European stage and for the England team to be challenging for international honours.

"To have a better chance of achieving these aims more effectively, it is imperative we resolve the on-going problem of match scheduling together. We would like to thank UEFA for taking the time it has to understand our position on this matter.

"Fixture scheduling is an issue for the whole game so let's build upon the productive conversations we have held with the Premier League and Football League and call upon UEFA to join the discussion to create clear, workable guidelines for the benefit of all.

"This will help our teams in the pursuit for trophies; enable fans to fully enjoy and access all the matches their teams participate in and allow broadcast partners to maximise the TV rights they have purchased."

The winners of the replay will face Watford in the sixth round.

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