Sheffield United face Man City stars blow as FA Cup semi rules clarified

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Blades booked their place in last four of the FA Cup by beating Blackburn Rovers 3-2

Sheffield United suffered a huge blow this afternoon after being paired with Manchester City in their FA Cup semi-final opponents towards the end of this month.

The Blades beat Blackburn Rovers 3-2 in a dramatic quarter-final tie and will play City at Wembley next month. That is a huge blow for the Blades with loan stars James McAtee and Tommy Doyle set to miss out against their parent club.

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Doyle scored the goal that took the Blades to Wembley, a long-range stunner in the dying minutes of the Blades’ 3-2 win.

Although boss Paul Heckingbottom raised hopes that the pair may be able to play in his post-match interview - saying “It would have to be discussed, but it would complicate things” if the two teams were paired together - FA rules appear to suggest that the young City pair will have to watch from the sidelines at the national stadium.

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In section 15 of the FA Cup rules, provisions concerning players, rule J concerns temporary transfers and section IV states: “The Association will not give permission for players on loan or work experience to play against the lending Club.”

In the other semi-final, Manchester United or Fulham will face Brighton and Hove Albion.

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