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Football: Volcanic Ash Decision Expected Monday on UEFA Europa League Ties

This week’s 2010 UEFA Europa League Semi-Final ties, Atletico Madrid v Liverpool and Hamburg v Fulham, both due to take place on 22nd April 2010, may well be cancelled this week due to the cloud of volcanic ash which is preventing air travel over much of Europe at present.

The decision from UEFA will come on Monday though, according to current forecasts, it looks likely that air travel will then still be impossible from the UK, in which case the matches may have to be postponed.

The problems stem from the fact that both British teams are presently due to fly out of the country, and will therefore be unable to travel if flying remains impossible from UK airports.

Roy Hodgson, manager of Fulham FC, reported that UEFA have been in touch regarding this, and that their concern is to ensure that teams do not have to experience hardship in getting to away fixtures.

The Fulham manager appeared confident that either his team would fly following a clearing of volcanic ash, or they could take the train and coach, whether or not these were commercially available, as he feels UEFA themselves can step in to lay on transport for his playing staff.

It is unclear what alternative arrangements Liverpool may make in the event of air travel being impossible this week.

The UEFA Champions League Semi-Finals which also take place this week will be unaffected as Barcelona and Lyon are to travel over land to make their fixtures in Milan and Munich respectively.

If the Europa League matches are indeed postponed, football will be another victim of the Icelandic volcano which has already left many thousands of people around the world stranded at the airport, including referee Steve Bennet who had been due to officiate in the Manchester City v Manchester United derby game on Saturday afternoon.

About Sport Desk

Stories from the Sport Desk at The Global Herald.

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