The Football Association (FA) has convened an urgent meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to accept Chelsea’s request for their FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough to be played behind closed doors.
Chelsea lobbied hard to be able to sell away tickets for Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough, the Government made the decision to block it.
However, the football body has convened an urgent meeting “for matters of sporting integrity” after Chelsea’s own fans were blocked from buying tickets. As a consequence, Chelsea lodged a request with the FA Board to play the game behind closed doors without any fans at all for matters of sporting integrity.
“We are aware of Chelsea FC’s request to play their Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final tie against Middlesbrough FC behind closed doors. The matter will be discussed at the Professional Game Board meeting tomorrow,” an FA spokesperson was quoted as saying by inews.co.uk.
As another extraordinary day unfolded in the history of Chelsea Football Club, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham was answering questions at a DCMS hearing when Chelsea released their statement and immediately faced a grilling on the subject.
He said he was unable to comment openly on the Middlesbrough request as he had only just heard about it as he walked into the hearing.
“What they’re referring to is [for] any football match – and it’s an issue raised by Uefa – normally you have both sets of fans and their argument is only one set of fans has an effect on sporting integrity,” he said.