Soccer-FA Cup final to kick off as usual at 3pm, in relief for travelling fans

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup - Third Round - Manchester City v Huddersfield Town - Etihad Stadium, Manchester, Britain - January 7, 2024 The FA Cup trophy is displayed inside the stadium before the match Action Images via Reuters/Lee Smith/File Photo

(Reuters) - The FA Cup 2023-24 final between holders Manchester City and Manchester United will kick off at 3pm local time, the English FA said on Tuesday, in welcome news for travelling fans who often struggle with late kickoffs.

The May 25 final will see the two sides from Manchester - 200 miles north of the capital - face off at London's Wembley Stadium for the second year in a row.

"This kickoff time was agreed with the clubs, local authority, members of the Safety Advisory Group and broadcasters," the FA said in a statement.

City, who beat United 2-1 to win the trophy last year, defeated Chelsea 1-0 in the semi-finals while United gave up a 3-0 lead in the last 20 minutes before eventually beating Coventry City on penalties.

(Reporting by Chiranjit Ojha in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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