Away tickets slashed for big cup clash over concerns for fans’ safety

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CHELSEA have been handed a drastically-reduced ticket allocation for next month’s Capital One Cup tie at Leeds United amid concerns over fan safety.

The Londoners and Champions League winners have announced that they have been allocated 3,000 tickets for December 19 fixture.

The quarter-final tie will be eagerly-awaited as the sides have an historic rivalry.

The Premier League outfit have also revealed, however, that they initially asked for another 2,000 tickets.

A message on Chelsea’s official Twitter account said the 3,000 figure had been decided upon “due to fan safety”.

It also indicated that at one stage they were being asked to accept just 1,500 tickets.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said in a statement to media: “Following a series of meetings between officials from both 
clubs a decision was agreed 
that 3,000 tickets would be 
made available to Chelsea supporters.

“The safety of all supporters remains the overriding priority for all parties involved in the 
organisation of the fixture and 
an appropriate policing 
operation will be in place for the match.”

Next month’s tie will be the first fixture between Leeds and Chelsea at Elland Road for nine 
years.

The clubs have a bitter rivalry that can be traced as far back as the late 1960s.

Current Leeds United chairman Ken Bates is 
also a former chairman of Chelsea.

Chelsea fans at the game will have seats in part of Elland Road’s John Charles West Stand.

The club has appealed to its supporters not to travel without tickets. Chelsea are also warning that no alcohol will be on sale in the section of Elland Road allocated to away fans.

The game will be the biggest at Leeds since the visit of Manchester United in September of last year.

That fixture was marred by violence outside Elland Road, with police making more than 20 arrests. One officer broke his leg when he was knocked to the floor beneath a police horse. Other officers were pelted with bricks, bottles and sticks.

The clashes also saw both clubs criticised after offensive chanting from both sets of fans were heard before, during and after the fixture.