Villa Park to host 2012 FA Community Shield

With the final of the Olympic Games football tournament at Wembley a day earlier, Premier League champions Manchester City will instead face FA Cup holders Chelsea in the Midlands
Villa Park will be the host for this year’s FA Community Shield clash between Chelsea and Manchester City on Sunday, August 12.

The traditional season curtain-raiser between the FA Cup and Premier League holders has been forced to move to an alternative venue this year due to the Olympic Games in London.

The Olympics football tournament final is scheduled to take place at Wembley a day before the English top-flight season opener and the FA has confirmed Aston Villa's home stadium will instead host the match.

Villa CEO Paul Faulkner said: "We are delighted to be hosting the 2012 Community Shield and we look forward to welcoming fans from Manchester City and Chelsea to Villa Park.

"All football fans will know that Villa Park is an iconic stadium with wonderful facilities and a rich heritage of staging England internationals, FA Cup semi-finals and big-occasion games.

"We're proud of our pitch - the best in the country - and we are confident that Villa Park will provide a great stage for what I'm sure will be an entertaining start to the new season, a new season that we are all excited about and looking forward to.

"It's a real honour for the club that the game will be played here as The FA Community Shield remains one of the most prestigious fixtures in the football calendar."

FA general secretary, Alex Horne, hailed the Birmingham stadium as an ideal replacement with Wembley unavailable.

He 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."