FA Cup

No more FA Cup quarter-final replays from next season?

The Football Association has announced that there will no longer be replays at the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup from next season onwards.

In an effort to ease fixture congestion, teams that reach the last eight of the competition will now go straight into extra time and penalties to determine who progresses to the semi-finals should the 90 minutes end as a draw.

Replays in the earlier rounds will remain, giving lower-league clubs the chance to earn lucrative return fixtures against bigger teams, while the semi-final has been a one-off match since 1999.

“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,” read a statement from FA chief executive Martin Glenn.

“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.”

Manchester United needed a replay to get past West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the competition this season before going on to win the trophy against Crystal Palace at Wembley.

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