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Chelsea's FA Cup showdown against Manchester City will be televised

But there's controversy as the FA remain intent on making life as tough as possible for English teams in Europe.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Thanks to the largely archaic TV broadcast rights and rules that are still in effect in England, not every Chelsea match is available on terrestrial television.  Fans around the world, from America to Asia can basically watch every single game, either live or on demand at any time, but at the source, TV companies still have the final say.  And this final say in the case of the FA Cup fifth round, though obvious in some ways, has already proven controversial.

Chelsea vs. Manchester City is the marquee matchup of the round as the Premier League heavyweights and last two champions of England meet in the final 16 of the knockout competition.  As such, it's the obvious pick for the Sunday afternoon prime-time slot on the BBC.

The five televised matches are:

Saturday, February 20:
Arsenal vs. Hull City (12:45 GMT; BT Sport)
AFC Bournemouth vs. Everton (17:15 GMT; BBC)

Sunday, February 21:
Blackburn Rovers vs. West Ham United OR Liverpool (14:00 GMT; BT Sport)
CHELSEA vs. Manchester City (16:00 GMT; BBC)

Monday, February 22:
Strawberry Shrewsbury Town vs. Manchester United (19:45 GMT; BT Sport)

The controversial part of putting the game on Sunday is that Manchester City are scheduled for their Champions League knockout round first leg match the very next Wednesday.  Which means that they have travel to London on Sunday and then travel to Kiev in Ukraine for a Wednesday game.  Chelsea, meanwhile, have Paris Saint-Germain the Tuesday prior, so while the extra day of rest is nice, it wouldn't be outrageous to have a Tuesday-Saturday schedule for the Blues.

"If we play against Chelsea on Sunday it won't be a normal team. It will be a young team. I don't see why we can't play on Saturday. Logically it would be Saturday. I must do what I think is better for the club, which is Champions League."

-Manuel Pellegrini; source: MEN

The BBC cite "conflicting fixtures and safety concerns", which basically boil down to Fulham also having a home match that Saturday (in the Championship vs. Charlton Athletic), but surely other options could be explored.  Then again, Chelsea have been in very similar situations in recent seasons and we've seen just how little power the FA have when it comes to bowing to the interest of TV companies and their massive broadcast fees.  That's modern football for ya!

(On a related note, PSG were screwed by the French FA recently as well, though their lead so ridiculously large in the league that they could basically sleepwalk their way to the title at this point.  I have zero sympathy for them.)

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