May 27 – Fixture congestion has finally taken its toll on the world’s oldest and most revered domestic knockout competition with English FA Cup quarter-final replays to be scrapped from next season.
Under new rules, the eight clubs involved will battle to a finish on the day with extra-time and penalties taking place if necessary.
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.”
“While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the Cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.”
Top-flight managers have frequently lamented FA Cup replays, which often clash with European fixtures. But diehard fans of the iconic competition will be concerned that the scrapping of quarter-final replays could be followed by further attempts to water it down.
England manager Roy Hodgson said the move would take English football closer to a Premier League winter break, just like top divisions in France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
“I think it’s all designed eventually to maybe providing that elusive winter break,” Hodgson said.
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