Villa Park to hold 2012 FA Community Shield clash



By Adam Higgins
Chief Football Editor  



Aston Villa's Villa Park stadium has hosted some famous matches during the refurbishment of the newly built Wembley arena 


Villa Park will stage the traditional season curtain-raiser for the 2012-13 campaign when Manchester City meet Chelsea on Sunday 12th August in the Community Shield.

The Premier League champions Manchester City and FA Cup winners Chelsea will lock horns to kick-start the next domestic season although the match has been switched to the Midlands as the usual venue of Wembley is being used the day before for the Olympic Games football final.

The Birmingham venue has hosted some colossal matches in the past during the years of the refurbishment of the newer version of the national stadium including the 1999 UEFA Cup Winners Cup final between Lazio and Mallorca while it also staged England's first home international following the old Wembley dismantling.

The 43,000 capacity ground- an historic stadium which has been a prominent venue for FA Cup semi-finals- will host the 90th contest for the Charity Shield sponsored by McDonalds. "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," said Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner. "We're proud of our pitch - the best in the country - and we are confident that Villa Park will provide a great stage. It's a real honour for the club. It remains one of the most prestigious fixtures in the football calendar."

FA general secretary Alex Horne added: "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, including 16 England internationals and 55 FA Cup semi-finals. 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.”


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