Arsenal’s FA Cup fifth-round replay at Hull City will take place on March 8 with a 7pm kick-off, the Football Association has confirmed.
Trying to find a date for the game has proved difficult with Arsenal still in the Champions League and Hull fighting for promotion from the Championship, a division which features a 46-game calendar.
The FA also had to factor in Champions League games are taking place on March 8, hence the earlier kick-off to minimise the number of television viewers being lost to the games involving Real Madrid, Roma, Wolfsburg and Gent.
The option for a 5.45pm kick-off was ruled out by the FA as it would have “significantly impacted on fans’ attendance”.
Chief executive Martin Glenn told the FA’s official website: “We want all of our clubs to be part of strong, vibrant domestic competitions, to perform well on the European stage and for the England team to be challenging for international honours.
“To have a better chance of achieving these aims more effectively, it is imperative we resolve the on-going problem of match scheduling together.
“We would like to thank UEFA for taking the time it has to understand our position on this matter.
“Fixture scheduling is an issue for the whole game so let’s build upon the productive conversations we have held with the Premier League and Football League and call upon UEFA to join the discussion to create clear, workable guidelines for the benefit of all.
“This will help our teams in the pursuit for trophies; enable fans to fully enjoy and access all the matches their teams participate in and allow broadcast partners to maximise the TV rights they have purchased.”
The original tie at the Emirates Stadium on February 20 finished goalless. The winners of the replay will take on Watford in the sixth round.
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