ITV granted earlier kick-off for West Ham United and Leeds United FA Cup tie with trains already a struggle for Whites fans - YEP 22/12/21

ITV have had their request for an earlier kick-off granted in Leeds United's FA Cup visit to West Ham United next month.

By Graham Smyth

As a result of the decision not to hold replays in the third and fourth round of this season's competition, extra-time and penalties will now be applicable for the Whites' game against the Hammers at London Stadium on Sunday January 9, so ITV asked for the kick-off to be brought forward by 15 minutes to 2pm.

For Leeds fans already struggling to get to the game by train, the earlier kick-off will potentially present further problems. Leeds were given an allocation just shy of 9,000 for the game but Network Rail engineering works scheduled for that weekend mean services will have to take a diversionary route and will be heavily disrupted, leaving tickets hard to come by for the few trains that could realistically get fans into the ground in time for kick-off.

A spokesperson for London North Eastern Railway tweeted that fans should try and find alternative modes of transport.

"Our message is that services will be severely disrupted and will take 60+ minutes longer than normal," he said.

"We would advise seeking alternative transport where possible."

The same advice will be applicable a week later when Leeds travel to West Ham in Premier League action.

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