Leicester's Rodgers wants to win FA Cup for late owner Vichai


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Leicester City v Burnley - King Power Stadium, Leicester, Britain - October 19, 2019 Leicester City pay their respects to mark the first anniversary of a helicopter crash which claimed five lives including the club's chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha before the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates

(Reuters) - Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said lifting their first FA Cup on Saturday would be a fitting tribute to the club's late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his family.

Thai-led consortium Asian Football Investments took over Leicester in 2010 and, under the Srivaddhanaprabha family, the Midlands club was transformed as they returned to the Premier League in 2014 before memorably claiming the title in 2015-16.

Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, nicknamed "Top", succeeded Vichai, who was killed along with four other passengers when his helicopter crashed outside the King Power Stadium in October 2018.

"I'd love to win it for Khun Vichai and his family. His spirit will be there with us on the day," Rodgers told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Chelsea.

"One of the reasons I came was because of them and the cause the club has. I would love to do it for the supporters and the players, but if I had to pick one, I'd say Top and his family."

Heading into their first FA Cup final in 52 years, Leicester are sweating over the availability of experienced defender Jonny Evans, who has missed the last two games with a heel injury.

"We'll give him another day. He was outside today and looked very good. We'll make the final decision tomorrow," Rodgers said.

Northern Irishman Evans, 33, has been an influential player for Leicester over the last few weeks, scoring against West Bromwich Albion and Southampton as well as making a last-ditch tackle in the 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last month.

"Jonny's a warrior, so I know if there's any way he can play, even if he's not 100 percent, he'll be out there," Rodgers added.

"It's going to be a physical game, so we need physicality in the team and running ability. If that's hindered in any way, it might make it difficult for him."

Leicester have lost four FA Cup finals.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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