Community Shield at Villa Park
LONDON, England ● The Community Shield clash between Manchester City and Chelsea at the start of next season will be staged at Villa Park rather than Wembley.
The annual curtain-raiser to the new top-flight season is traditionally played at Wembley, but the English national stadium in London is hosting the Olympic football final on the same weekend as Premier League champions City are due to meet FA Cup winners Chelsea.
That has forced a change of plans and Aston Villa’s stadium in Birmingham has been chosen as the host venue for the fixture on Sunday, August 12.
The 43,000-capacity Villa Park has a long history of staging FA Cup semi-finals and the venue also hosted matches at the 1996 European Championships, as well as 16 England internationals.
Alex Horne, FA general secretary, said: “Villa Park is one of English football’s most iconic grounds and has a wonderful tradition of hosting some of the game’s biggest matches.
“Once we knew the Olympic football schedule, we worked hard to secure a suitable alternative venue for The FA Community Shield 2012 and are delighted that Aston Villa have agreed to host the season’s traditional curtain-raiser.”