The third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup will be without repetition again in 2021-22, the Football Association confirmed on December 20. Matches that end in a draw for the rest of the tournament will go into overtime and a penalty shootout, if necessary.
After the playbacks were suspended during the 2020-21 season, they were to return for this year’s event until the 4th round, inclusive. However, this decision eliminates the repetitions for the 3rd and 4th rounds and comes after 13 repetitions have taken place in the 1st and 2nd rounds of the competition.
As the number of league matches postponed due to the latest outbreak of COVID-19 continues to rise, the FA has eased backlogs for affected clubs.
“The losses were eliminated in the third and fourth rounds of the Emirates FA Cup 2021-22,” the FA said in a statement released on December 20.
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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 the continuing uncertainty ahead of COVID-19.
“The tie in the third and fourth rounds of this year’s competition (rounds 64 and 32) will be played until the end of the day, with overtime and penalty shootouts if necessary.
“Replay will return until the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup, including this one from the 2022-23 season.”
Why they don’t repeat themselves in the FA Cup is a big problem
Repeats are a traditional element of the FA Cup and are especially an opportunity for lower league clubs to secure a second profitable retaliatory match if they draw with one of the giants of the Premier League in the first rounds.
However, in 2020-21, due to the need to shorten the season due to the pandemic, the recurrence format was abandoned in favor of ending each tie in overtime or penalties on the same day.
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In July, the FA announced that the replay would return for the year 2021-22 until the 4th round, and a total of 13 matches were decided in the first and second rounds in this way.
Recently, however, the sharp rise in coronavirus cases has shaken the schedule as at least 17 Premier League games have been postponed.
As these games will have to be rescheduled in the coming weeks and months, eliminating potential repetitions can help stop the accumulation of matches for affected teams.