FA Cup replays scrapped in major change

The decision has been taken to strengthen the domestic competition

By Web Desk
April 18, 2024
This season's FA Cup semi-finals will be held on the weekend. - FA

FA Cup replays won’t be held from the first round next season, the Football Association (FA) announced on Thursday.

The decision has been taken to strengthen the domestic competition after a six-year agreement between the Premier League and FA.

"From the first round proper, the competition will be played without replays," the FA said.

"The current format, which has no replays from the fifth round onwards, has been extended throughout the 'Competition Proper' in light of changes to the calendar driven by the expanded UEFA competitions.

"The FA Cup final will now take place on the penultimate weekend of the Premier League season, on an exclusive Saturday with no Premier League fixtures taking place on the same day."

In a bid to allow the Premier League to begin in mid-August and provide a extended close-season break, the mid-season pause was also stripped from the calendar.

"This new agreement between the FA and the Premier League strengthens the FA Cup and gives this very special tournament exclusive weekends in an increasingly busy calendar," Mark Bullingham, CEO of England's FA, said in a statement.

"The new schedule ensures the magic of the cup is protected and enhanced, while working for the whole of the English game."

As part of the agreement, the Premier League will also increase its funding towards developing the grassroots game by 33 million pounds ($41.15 million).

The Premier League currently gives 100 million pounds in funding to teams in lower leagues.

"This (investment) will improve facilities for communities and lower league clubs across the country, through the Football Foundation and Premier League Stadium Fund," Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said.

This season's FA Cup semi-finals will be held on the weekend, with defending champions Manchester City locking horns with Chelsea on Saturday and Coventry City taking on Manchester United on Sunday.

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