FA statement counters Multiplex's claim that client works will delay completion of Wembley until after final

The Football Association still believes Wembley stadium can be ready for next year's FA Cup Final, and has said that it has "no plans" to book the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff to stage the event.

The claim comes after main contractor Multiplex said this morning it did not expect the stadium to even host large scale testing events before next June.

In a statement, the FA said: "Further to conversations with Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL), The FA remains confident that Wembley Stadium can be ready for this season’s FA Cup Final. This is of course dependent on when stadium constructors Multiplex meets all of its contractual obligations."

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange, Multiplex said it estimated that the scale of the work still to be undertaken by client Wembley National Stadium Limited means that the stadium will not be ready to hold necessary test events before June 2007.

The claims are an escalation of the increasingly bitter war between the two parties over who is responsible for the stadium’s problems.

Multiplex also reiterated that it has advised WNSL that it believes it is entitled until October next year to complete its own work on the stadium, though is still targeting substantial completion by this September.

The statement said: “In the absence of a detailed programme having been provided by WNSL, Multiplex has conducted its own analysis of the programme to completion of the client works. This has been based on Multiplex’s own assumptions of the current state of WNSL’s preparedness. The analysis has been reviewed with an expert in the operation of major stadia and indicates that it is unlikely that the stadium will be able to hold a test event for 90,000 spectators before June 2007.”

Multiplex also admitted that the recent insolvency of seating subcontractor Pel Stadium Seating had caused 'unforeseen delays' to the installation of seats. The contractor said that the remaining 10,000 seats will be installed by early September.