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FA 'drops Wembley for Cup Final'


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This year's FA Cup final has been switched to Cardiff, the company building the new Wembley stadium says.




Multiplex, which denied reports it had confirmed the stadium would not be ready, made the claim in a statement to the Australian stock exchange.


It said the Football Association made the decision because it needed "100% certainty" Wembley would be finished.


The Press Association news agency has reported that the FA will offically announce the decision on Tuesday.


PA said that FA chief executive Brian Barwick had visited the site of the stadium on Monday with Wembley chief executive Michael Cunnah, and subsequently had a meeting with Multiplex's UK managing director Martin Tidd.


The decision to abandon any hope of staging the FA Cup final at Wembley this year is said to have been taken at that meeting.


Multiplex said in January there was a "material risk" it would not be ready by the day of the final, 13 May.


The Daily Mail reported on Monday that the Australian firm had told the FA the stadium would not be able to stage the game.


In response to that report, Multiplex told BBC Sport no decision had been made.


In January, Multiplex admitted that there was only a 70% chance of the 90,000-seat stadium being ready to stage the FA Cup final.


The company said then it could not afford any further delays if it was to meet the delayed 31 March deadline to hand the £757m project to the FA.


The original completion date for the stadium had been autumn 2005, with the deadline first extended to the end of January and then the end of March.


Multiplex will be penalised £1m a week for over-running the deadline.


Multiplex issued six profit warnings between February and December last year, largely due to cost increases at the project to rebuild Britain's iconic soccer stadium, causing its shares to drop 42% in 2005.


Even if the work is finished by the end of March, the management of the new stadium would have had to train up hundreds of staff and satsify safety officials that they could stage major events.


PA said Wembley was due to announce on Tuesday whether several pop concerts scheduled to be staged at the stadium this summer would go ahead.


Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/4731888.stm


I guess Sparks will be crying into his Horlicks over this one considering the long running wankfest thread he did on it over at the other place B)

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