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Easter Monday nightmare in Fulham

last updated Friday 15th March 2013, 8:42 AM

London police face an Easter Monday nightmare following the decision to schedule Chelsea's FA Cup replay with Manchester United on that day.

Fulham are due to meet Queens Park Rangers a few hours later, which means supporters of three west London clubs will be in the same area.

The fixtures computer always pairs rivals Chelsea and Fulham so that they alternate their home matches because of policing demands. They have not played at home on the same day since the 1960s.

Chelsea's quarter-final replay is due to kick off at 12.30 while the Sky Barclays Premier League clash between Fulham and QPR is at 8pm.

Chelsea's FA Cup game will end around 2.30pm, depending on extra-time and penalties, several hours before the Fulham match begins.

However, as it is a Bank Holiday and fans will stay in local pubs afterwards, fans supporters may bump into one another around west London during the interlude between the matches, with police worried of the possibility of tensions rising.

Although Fulham are relatively safe from the drop, the match could have serious consequences for QPR in their bid to secure a miraculous survival in the Premier League.

To add to the mix, United are also guaranteed to bring their maximum quota of fans to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea currently sit fourth in the division, but fixture chaos in April, especially if they stay in he Europa League, may harm their chances of Champions League qualification.

The move has also angered Southampton, who will miss out on a TV £500,000 payment after their clash with Chelsea was rescheduled.

The Saints said in a statement: 'The Club is extremely disappointed that this decision has been taken, not least because of the significant inconvenience a second change to the fixture will cause our supporters.

'Tickets already purchased will still be valid for the rearranged date. Due to the move, this match will now not be broadcast live on TV.'

Source Janine Self at Daily Mail
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