Arsenal in FA Cup ticket row after reducing Liverpool allocation for fifth round tie at the Emirates

Gunners insist cut in allocation was due to safety concerns

Arsenal have insisted that the late kick-off time was behind the decision not to grant Liverpool their full allocation of tickets for next week's FA Cup tie, in contravention of Football Association rules.

Under FA Cup rule 21a, away teams are entitled to 15 per cent of the capacity for a game, and Liverpool wanted the full allocation of 9,000 tickets, in the lower and upper tier, for the fifth-round tie which will take place on Sunday 16 February at 4pm.

Arsenal, on the recommendation of their safety advisory group, have only granted them 8.6 per cent, 5,100 seats, all in the lower tier. This has prompted complaints from fans, but Liverpool will not appeal, nor will the FA take action. If there is a replay, Liverpool will grant a reciprocal 8.6 per cent.

Arsenal limited Tottenham Hotspur to the 5,100 allocation for the third-round tie but insisted that each game was addressed on a case-by-case basis. Chelsea took a 9,000 allocation for a League Cup game in October, when standing from away fans in the upper tier raised the issue.

Had Arsenal secured their preferred time of 12.45pm on Saturday 15, they would have been more likely to grant Liverpool the full 9,000 tickets.

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