The Eurovision Song Contest is set to be held in Liverpool this weekend, but it has directly impacted Manchester City’s game against Everton.
The Citizens are still in the hunt for the treble that would match Manchester United‘s achievements in 1999, but the schedule is causing them problems.
And if the fixture list wasn’t tricky enough, an iconic event is now set to cause City more issues, with the second leg of their semi-final against Real Madrid on the horizon.
Why Eurovision has impacted Man City’s game against Everton?
UEFA initially wanted the first leg between Real and City to take place on May 10 and the return fixture on May 16.
That would have meant moving City’s clash against the Toffees back to Saturday, May 13 to fill the 5:30pm slot.
However, Merseyside Police refused to sanction the move due to the Eurovision Song Contest being held in Liverpool on that day.
It was deemed too complicated for a football match and Eurovision to take place in the same city on the same day, as resources would have been severely stretched.
As a result, UEFA switched the semi-finals around, meaning City’s Premier League game against Leeds was moved back instead.
Merseyside Police’s refusal to move the Everton tie means there is no 5:30pm kick-off in the top-flight this Saturday.
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Pep Guardiola pointed out the schedule change and Eurovision’s role at his pre-match press conference before the Everton clash.
He said: “I can’t understand it, but I’m not going to fight it anymore.
“I don’t understand it, but we have to adapt. The schedule is what it is. It’s not frustrating. It is what it is, how many times can I comment on that?
“I’m sure the Premier League want to help teams, they don’t want to make us uncomfortable.
“The problem is the schedule, this amount of competitions, this amount of games.
“I think we cannot play on Saturday because there is Eurovision and we do not have enough bodies or the capability to handle so many people.”
Carlo Ancelotti’s Real, meanwhile, play on Saturday against Getafe at home, meaning they will get a bit longer to prepare for the trip to the Etihad.
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