Repeats are a tradition of the FA Cup. Will the elimination match end in a draw after 90 minutes? After that, the visiting team had just earned the right to hold a retaliatory match at a later date.
COVID-19 suspends this tradition, at least for several rounds in 2021-2022.
As the omicron variant of COVID-19 caused chaos in the match across England, forcing delays and leaving the clubs to fit more matches in a shorter period of time, the English Football Association, which runs the FA Cup, decided to delete the records from 3. round and 4th round to avoid further strain on the schedule.
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What happens when FA Cup matches end in a draw?
At the end of December 2021, the English Football Association (FA) announced that the 3rd and 4th round finishes would be canceled for this year’s competition to avoid further straining the English schedule.
Instead, extra time and a penalty shoot-out (if necessary) are used to determine the winner in these rounds, which gives a decisive advantage to the club that has been drawn as the host of the elimination match.
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In the 1st and 2nd rounds of the competition, which involved lower category clubs, 14 reruns have already taken place. But with the FA’s decision, they will not be repeated for the rest of the tournament, as the quarter-finals (5th round, March 19-20), semifinals (April 23-24) and finals (May 14) are no longer repeated. the last few years.
The semi-final stage was canceled from 1999-2000, and consecutive weekends have been played at London’s Wembley Stadium since the 2007-2008 season. In the years 2016-2017, the reruns of the quarterfinals were also deleted.
The FA announcement made it clear that there would be back-records for the 3rd and 4th rounds of the 2022-2023 competition, although any continuing impact of COVID-19 could clearly lead to the consideration of a similar move.
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“This exceptional decision was approved by the FA Council on Friday 17 December and was taken in the wider interest of English football to alleviate the possibility of overloading matches after several delays in recent days and continuing uncertainty due to COVID-19,” the FA statement read.
A total of 17 Premier League games have already been postponed, while many more at the top four levels of English football have been postponed. The EFL Cup (Carabao Cup) was also affected, the Liverpool-Arsenal series was translated. Each game set aside for COVID-19 issues will leave another match that needs to be included in the calendar later, so authorities will be concerned about the number of games to be collected in a short period of time.
What is a FA Cup rerun?
Unique to the FA Cup is the repetition concept.
In most elimination tournaments around the world, a winner is required from each game because one team must be eliminated and one team must advance. Overtime and, if necessary, a penalty shoot-out are usually used to break a tie after 90 minutes, although some tournaments around the world go straight for penalty kicks.
In the FA Cup, things have historically been a little different. In the event of a draw after 90 minutes from the 1st to the 4th round, the game is over and a replay is scheduled at the guests’ home stadium at a later date, when both teams will play another 90 minutes. If this match also ends in a draw, only then extra time and penalties will apply.
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The concept, which had existed since the start of the competition in 1871, was initially valid for all rounds, including the final. As far back as the 1990s, there were no penalty shootouts in the competition, which meant that the teams played as many reps as needed to find the winner. The last rehearsal final took place in 1993.
After the elimination of the repetition of the semifinals in the years 1999-2000, the organizers of the competition later did so also for the quarterfinals starting in 2016-17 with reference to the overload of matches. This leaves only a repetition in case of a tie from the 1st round to the 4th round. These reruns are potentially a blessing for lower-level clubs that could benefit financially from hosting opposition in the Premier League.
Premier League clubs enter the competition in round 3, so normally there are only two rounds in which Premier League clubs can theoretically be forced to repeat, although this will not be the case in 2021-22 due to the FA’s decision.