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 By Mike Whalley

Martinez unhappy over ticket allocation

Roberto Martinez says he is "disappointed" that Everton have been given a reduced ticket allocation for their FA Cup quarter-final at Arsenal.

Roberto Martinez has proved his doubters wrong since swapping relegated Wigan for high-flying Everton.
Roberto Martinez says the reduced allocation will have a big impact on the Toffees' travelling fans.

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The club have been given 5,186 tickets for the match at the Emirates Stadium on March 8.

FA Cup rules state that away teams can ask for up to 15 percent of seats for all ties up to including the quarterfinals, meaning the Toffees were entitled to 9,000 seats.

But Arsenal's Safety Advisory Group has cut that allocation on safety grounds.

The group -- made up of representatives from Arsenal, Islington Council and the local police and transport authorities -- have cited concerns over fans standing in the upper tiers of the stadium, along with worries regarding the possible use of smoke bombs and fireworks.

"I'm disappointed, because it's a major, major football event, and we want to have as many fans as we can there," Martinez said.

"Remember, we are a club with fans who travel in huge numbers. We don't want any sort of disappointment that comes from fans missing out.

"Obviously, the decision has been taken for safety reasons, and there's not much we can do.

"I don't think it's a decision that’s been made just for Everton, and for this tie. It’s been a general decision, every time there’s been a big football event there, that there could be some safety worries.

“It’s disappointing, and I understand the frustration of the fans. It's just about making sure now that the ones who are fortunate enough to be with us have an enjoyable afternoon."

The tie will be Arsenal's fourth at home in this season's FA Cup, and the third for which they have cut the away side's ticket allocation.

Tottenham's allocation was cut to just over 5,000 in round three, as was Liverpool's in round five -- with safety reasons cited in both cases.

Yet when League One side Coventry visited the Emirates Stadium in round four, they were offered a bigger allocation of 8,686 tickets.


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