Di Matteo unhappy at FA’s refusal to move Chelsea cup game

Chelsea interim boss Roberto Di Matteo reveals his disappointment at decision not to bring forward their FA Cup tie

roberto di matteo
Roberto Di Matteo's side travel to Aston Villa on Saturday

roberto di matteo

Roberto Di Matteo has expressed his disappointment at the Football Association’s refusal to bring Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham forward by 48 hours.

Di Matteo confirmed that the Londoners have approached the FA to try and convince the governing body to move the Wembley clash, scheduled for 6pm on Sunday 15 April, forward to Friday night ahead of a potential Champions League semi-final the following Wednesday.

With a possible showdown against either Barcelona or AC Milan pencilled less than 72 hours after their FA Cup clash, the Blues are concerned the fixture pile-up could dent their hopes in Europe.

“We have to qualify for the [Champions League] semi-finals first, on the other hand we’ve tried to communicate with The FA – it’s disappointing that common sense hasn’t prevailed,” said Di Matteo on Friday.

“I would have been happy with a Friday night kick-off. We’ve tried to cooperate will all the authorities and give them our point of view but it seems that it’s not really been taken into consideration.”

Meanwhile, the Chelsea interim boss confirmed that Branislav Ivanovic is fit for Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa but confirmed that midfielder Raul Meireles will miss out with a knee injury.

“Ivanovic will be available for tomorrow, he came through training fine,” he said. “The only doubt it Meireles, who picked up a knock the other night. He’s got a knock just above his knee. It shouldn’t be too serious but he’s not ready for tomorrow.”

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