FA Cup scraps quarter-final replays

FA Cup scraps quarter-final replays

Manchester United won the FA Cup last Saturday after defeating Crystal Palace by 2-1.

The Football Association (FA) had decided to scrap FA Cup replays for the quarter-finals starting next season as plans of the competition were approved.

The governing body said that the decision was part of its “ongoing review” of the competition.

Under the new rules, the remaining eight clubs will battle it out over one weekend. Each tie will be played to a finish on the day; should normal time ends with a draw, extra-time and subsequently, penalties will be used to decide a winner.

Replays in earlier rounds remained; meaning lower-league clubs will still have the opportunity to make amends to first game failures by winning second matches against higher-ranked clubs.

Manchester United beat West Ham in a replay in this season’s quarter-finals – with Marouane Fellaini scoring the game winner – before going on to lift the trophy in the final at Wembley.

Semi-final replays were scrapped too albeit two decades earlier. Manchester United was also responsible then, as their 1999 victory over Arsenal sped on their way to winning their historic treble.

The new plan comes as part of the FA’s commitment to ease the congested fixture schedule that Premier League teams are constantly burdened by and help the development of the England national team.

The FA chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: “The Emirates 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.”

“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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