More than two-thirds of football fans in England and Wales agree that future FA Cup semi-finals should be held somewhere other than London.
According to an Ipsos poll, 68 percent of people favor moving the matches away from Wembley Stadium, where they have been held since the 2007-08 season.
Other club stadiums, including Villa Park and Old Trafford, had previously held last-four matches.
The Football Association has come under fire for its decision to hold the match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday, despite West Coast Mainline rail services being disrupted due to engineering work over the Easter weekend.
Jordan Henderson, the Reds captain, believes the match should have been relocated to a neutral location. A new Ipsos survey shows widespread support for moving future semi-finals away from the national stadium.
In a representative poll of 2,051 persons aged 16 to 75 in Great Britain, Ipsos interviewed 831 football enthusiasts in England and Wales.
Support for shifting the matches to neutral venues outside London was solid among those aged 55 to 75, with 74% in favor. In the under-35s, this figure fell to 63%.
Even though the semi-finals are held at Wembley Stadium, seven out of ten London fans backed the transfer.
Eleven percent opposed moving the semis to a neutral venue outside of London, one-fifth (19%) said they were undecided, and two percent said they had no idea.
“There is considerable support amongst football fans in England and Wales for future FA Cup semi-finals being hosted in neutral venues outside London,” said Keiran Pedley, research director at Ipsos.
“It’s fascinating that older fans are the most supportive, which could be due to a memory of something similar happening in the past. Of course, whether or not this will happen in the future is a different story.”
The FA’s decision to move the semi-finals to Wembley was primarily motivated by a desire to recoup some of the national stadium’s redevelopment costs.
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The governing body has promised to arrange 100 buses to transport 5,000 Liverpool and City fans from Anfield to the Etihad Stadium and back and has warned fans to avoid taking the train if at all possible.