FA Cup

FA Cup quarter-final replays scrapped

The FA Cup will not have replays from the quarter-final on wards next season as part of renewed attempts to streamline the competition.

In a statement from the FA announcing the move on Thursday, it was claimed the new format will “add to the drama and impact the competition has enjoyed in recent seasons”.

The status of the competition has diminished in recent years with teams regularly fielding weakened teams due to fixture congestion.

And the FA is confident trimming the number of matches will see an upsurge in interest and prove benficial to “the wider game in general”.

“As part of the ongoing review into the FA Cup, a sudden-death format for the quarter-final stage has today been approved by The FA Board and will be introduced in March 2017,” the statement read.

“The revamped competition will see eight clubs battle it out over one weekend with each tie to be played to a finish on the day, adding to the drama and impact the competition has enjoyed in recent years.

“Other new initiatives will be explored to ensure The FA Cup retains its status and appeal. These plans also form part of The FA’s commitment to help ease English football’s congested fixture schedule.”

FA chief executive Martin Glenn added: “The FA Cup remains at the heart of English football and this change adds to the excitement of the competition and will benefit the wider game in general.

“With great attendances and TV figures across the BBC and BT Sport, this season has confirmed the Cup’s special status – underlined by great stories culminating in Manchester United’s triumph at Wembley last Saturday.

“In a demanding calendar and with increased pressures on fans, it is important we move with the times and consider new innovations such as last week’s successful Non-League Finals Day which saw 50,000 fans at Wembley for the Vase and Trophy.

“While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the Cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.”

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