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Wembley Stadium Legal Dispute Resolved

The owners and builders of Wembley Stadium in London have resolved their long legal dispute over costs, clearing the way for the FA Cup final to likely return to its traditional home next May.

The impasse has held up completion of the 90,000-seat stadium for more than one year. But now the owners, Wembley National Stadium Limited, have reached a deal with the Australian constructors, Multiplex, to complete the $1.4 billion project.

Mutiplex has incurred financial penalties for missing all key deadlines for the facility. It originally was supposed to be completed by late 2005.

But according to British media reports, Multiplex will receive an extra $64 million to account for design changes. The fee will be paid if the contractors complete the work in time for the May 19 FA Cup final.

First staged in 1872, the FA Cup final has been played at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the past six seasons after the original Wembley was torn down in 2001.

The dispute over construction of the new Wembley has been a major embarrassment to English soccer, with the Football Association waiting to unveil what it claims will be the most spectacular stadium in the world.

The stadium is visible all over north and west London and has an eye-catching steel arch that dominates the skyline.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.