Cup win­ners miss out on climb up Wem­b­ley steps

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Football - By Mike McGrath

There will be no walk to the Royal Box for the win­ners at Wem­b­ley, but the FA Cup fi­nal will re­tain one last­ing tra­di­tion when Abide With Me will be sung be­fore the show­piece event in the cal­en­dar.

The hymn, writ­ten by Henry Francis Lyte, has been played at ev­ery fi­nal since 1927 and will be one of the fea­tures of an af­ter­noon un­like any other when the last two teams meet in the old­est com­pe­ti­tion in foot­ball.

Emeli Sande will sing from the rooftop of the sta­dium in a pre-recorded per­for­mance that will be played to those be­hind closed doors at the na­tional sta­dium and to tele­vi­sion view­ers around the globe.

It will be the first fi­nal played with­out fans, with the threat of coro­n­avirus clos­ing the turn­stiles to Arse­nal and Chelsea fans.

As usual, the na­tional an­them will be per­formed live within the sta­dium, with the Bri­tish Youth Opera singing while the teams line up on the pitch in the fi­nal mo­ments be­fore the fi­nal starts.

Ar­ti­fi­cial crowd noise will be played in the sta­dium, un­like at the 92 Premier League matches dur­ing Project Restart. The noise is be­ing cre­ated from gen­uine men­tal health con­ver­sa­tions with fans and play­ers, which is part of the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion ded­i­cat­ing this year’s tour­na­ment to its “Heads Up” cam­paign, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to dis­cuss their men­tal well-be­ing.

There will be no pre­sen­ta­tion party and the post-match tro­phy pre­sen­ta­tion will take place on the pitch, in­stead of Pierre-Em­er­ick Aubameyang or Ce­sar Azpilicuet­a climb­ing the steps to get their hands on the Cup. Play­ers will col­lect medals them­selves from a ta­ble to limit the risk of Covid-19 spread.

Go­ing global: Emeli Sande will sing Abide With Me from the roof of Wem­b­ley Sta­dium in a pre-recorded per­for­mance

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