FA Cup overhauls format, no more replays!

The Football Association (FA) has made a significant decision regarding the format of the FA Cup, announcing the complete elimination of replays from the first round proper starting from the upcoming season.

Initially, there was anticipation that replays would be scrapped only from the third round onwards, but this change will now be implemented from the conclusion of the qualifying rounds.

This alteration is part of a broader effort by the FA and Premier League to revitalize and strengthen the competition.

The new format, set to run for at least six seasons, ensures that all matches will be played on weekends, except for the fourth round, which has a flexible window from Friday to Wednesday.

Furthermore, exclusive periods have been designated for the fourth, fifth, and quarter-final stages, ensuring they do not clash with Premier League fixtures.

Notably, the FA Cup final will now be held on the Saturday of the penultimate Premier League weekend, enhancing the prestige of the tournament.

These scheduling changes also signal the end of the mid-season break in the Premier League, with a longer summer break introduced following the European Championship in Germany.

FA Chief Executive Mark Bullingham emphasized the importance of securing a robust format for the FA Cup, highlighting its significant contribution to the revenue invested in the game.

Moreover, the agreement includes increased funding for grassroots football, disability football, and the women’s and girls’ game, reflecting a commitment to supporting all levels of the sport.


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