London (AFP) – FA Cup quarter-final replays will be scrapped from next season, the Football Association announced on Thursday.
The last-eight stage of the cup competition will revert to a sudden-death format over one weekend in a bid to ease English football’s congested fixture list.
“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,” FA chief executive Martin Glenn said.
“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.”
As it stands, replays will continue to take place in the earlier rounds of the competition.
The decision means the last FA Cup quarter-final replay was Manchester United’s 2-1 win over West Ham at Upton Park this season.
In 1991, the FA abolished its system that allowed multiple replays in FA Cup ties, with the limit being changed to one replay, followed by a penalty shoot-out if the teams remained tied.
FA Cup semi-final replays were phased out after 1999. Ryan Giggs settled the last semi-final replay with his famous solo goal for Manchester United against Arsenal at Villa Park.
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