Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is reportedly holding talks with the English Football Association (FA) to pre-pone the Blues' FA Cup semi-final tie (to be played against either Tottenham or Bolton), should the club make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League, according to an ESPN report.
If the London club do beat Portuguese side Benfica over the two legs, their next Champions League fixture will be on 22 April, which is only three days after their proposed FA Cup game.
"Absolutely, we need [the support from the FA] because it doesn't help English teams in the Champions League. Benfica played on Friday night, so did Napoli. Their leagues try to give them a lot of help and the best possible advantage. We are engaged on this matter but, ultimately, someone has to make the decision. But let's get through this tie first," the Guardian quoted Di Matteo as saying.
The scheduling of the FA Cup games was earlier complicated by Liverpool, who refused to play on the scheduled date of 15 April, as it would clash with the 23rd anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The problem now is that a second change in the Blues' FA Cup dates could mean trouble for the Metropolitan Police, since they would have to re-work security plans; this could even more troublesome should Chelsea be drawn against local rivals Tottenham. Furthermore, FA Cup broadcasters would likely oppose re-scheduling, since they stand to lose viewership if the tie were to be shifted from Sunday to a weekday.
However, Chelsea, who will be trying their best to qualify for the Champions League next season, will probably not be too concerned about these problems ahead of such an important month... one that could very well define their season.