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By ESPN Staff

Liverpool fans locked out after ticket theft

Numerous Liverpool fans who had their FA Cup final tickets stolen in a raid on a Royal Mail van will now not be going to Cardiff after the Millennium Stadium refused to issue duplicates.

The theft took place in Liverpool city centre on Friday but the missing tickets have been identified and cancelled.

However, fans who had paid for the tickets will not get replacements and police have warned against buying from touts as anyone with a stolen ticket is liable to arrest.

And anyone sat in seats corresponding to the stolen tickets will be ejected from the ground.

The Safety Advisory Group - comprising members of the police and fire services, Cardiff County Council - and the Millennium Stadium looked at every option to accommodate the original owners of the tickets but the potential for all stolen tickets turning up on Saturday along with the original owners would create a major safety concern.

'We have every sympathy for those football fans who have had their tickets stolen and have looked at all possibilities of re-seating these people but after a meeting with our safety advisory group we are standing by our no duplicates policy,' said Millennium Stadium chief executive Paul Sergeant.

'I'm sure all football fans will understand we simply don't have spare seats for an FA Cup final and we cannot compromise on segregation or the safety of our employees.

'There is no other way of managing this situation. I would like to urge people not to purchase any tickets other than from official sources and under no circumstances travel to Cardiff with the expectation of gaining entry to the Millennium Stadium if you do not possess a ticket.'

Chief Superintendent Bob Evans added: 'We fully support the Millennium Stadium in its `no duplicate ticket policy' and officers will be rigorously enforcing this on the day.

'My message is this: `Unless you have purchased your ticket through an official source it is probably forged or stolen - don't travel to Cardiff.

'You will not be allowed entry to the stadium. Anyone found in possession of a stolen ticket will be arrested.'