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Thousands Of Fans Due In London

Sporting fans from across the country are expected to hit London this weekend as Wembley hosts two FA Cup semi-finals plus, the capital sees the Beijing 2008 Olympic Torch Relay.

Saturday

The sporting acting kick-off on Saturday at 12.15pm when nearly 90,000 West Brom and Portsmouth supporters flood the capital to witness a mouth watering FA Cup semi-final.

Half an hour later 60,000 fans will witness Arsenal take on Liverpool.

Meanwhile back to the traditional 3pm kick-offs Fulham take on Sunderland, QPR face Preston while Millwall host Gillingham.

Sunday

Another sell-out Wembley crowd is expected on Sunday when the second FA Cup semi-final sees Barnsley play favourites Cardiff City.

2008 Olympic Torch

London's leg of the worldwide torch relay starts at Wembley Arena Square with performances of multicultural dance.

Carried by Tessa Sanderson, Duncan Goodhew, Dame Kelly Holmes and others, the Olympic flame will travel through ten London boroughs, stopping at a number of attractions before arriving by boat at Greenwich Peninsula Square where a concert includes displays of gymnastics and Chinese ribbon dancing, as well as music by the Sugababes.

Events at the opening and closing legs of the relay are ticketed. The remaining route is open to spectators. Approximate timings are as follows:

10.30am Wembley Special event at Arena Square (ticket only) and community activities in central Harlesden.

11am Ladbroke Grove Mini carnival with soca music.

11.30am Notting Hill Gate Latino carnival band.

12noon Oxford Street On an open-top bus.

12.25pm British Museum Greeted by a fanfare played on re-constructed ancient Greek trumpets, plus traditional Chinese ribbon dancing.

12.45pm Chinatown Costumed dragons and lions.

12.50pm Piccadilly Circus

1pm Trafalgar Square Music and performance.

1.30pm Southbank Centre 600-strong choir, kathak dance, poetry, circus, hip-hop and beatboxing.

2.30pm Somerset House Dance by Aletta Collins accompanied by the Bollywood Brass Band and local schoolchildren.

2.45pm St Paul's Cathedral The band of the Scots Guards, Lord Mayor, Dean of St Paul`s and 150 school kids.

3.15pm Potters Fields/More London Rhythms of the City, Chinese dragon dance and live drumming.

3.30pm Tower Bridge

3.45pm Whitechapel Road 'Emperor and the Tiger` show and input from Kinetika.

4.45pm Stratford Carnival, street performers, music floats and sporting activities throughout the afternoon.

5pm Canary Wharf Acrobats, jugglers, stilt-walkers, children`s workshops and treasure hunts.

6pm North Greenwich Grand finale (ticket only) with lighting of the Olympic Cauldron and stage show.

Travel Chaos?

Upwards of 300,000 people could make their way around the capital's weekend sporting events.

Fans had originally feared that tube strikes would cause travel chaos, but the industrial action has since been called off.

A spokesperson for Transport for London said that every effort will be made to move supporters as swiftly as possible.

'We urge people to check before they travel. If disruption is likely to happen, we will issue a press release.'

The Metropolitan Police say they are well equipped to deal with the influx of fans, with 1,300 officers being deployed to Wembley alone.

'We deal with large situations on a regular basis,' said a spokesperson. It is not an unprecedented event.'

The journalist

Writer: Hoops Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday April 4 2008

Time: 9:28AM

 

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