Why there won’t be Replays in 2020-2021 FA Cup


The football association in England has scrapped replays in the 2020-2021 FA Cup campaign in order to “assist in easing pressure on the football schedule” of clubs in the forthcoming season.

The 2020-2021 season will be heavily loaded with footballing activities both in domestic and continental fronts. This will force players to play more matches in short intervals. This has been the case since the Premier League returned from three months coronavirus induced break on June 17, 2020.

Hence, the English FA decided to introduce the new policy to not only assist in easing pressure on the football schedule but to also “ensure that domestic competitions can still be delivered” alongside other club engagements.

This means that once a match ends in a draw in the regular 90 minutes, especially at the knockout stage of the competition, the match will go into extra time and possibly penalties until a winner emerges. The situation where there would be replays of matches that end in a draw will no longer be attainable due to the pressure on clubs and players that will emerge from the tight schedule in the forthcoming season.

FA Cup Prize money for 2020-2021 season

Arsenal football club celebrating 2019-2020 FA Cup victory
Arsenal football club celebrating 2019-2020 FA Cup victory

Besides the scrapping of replays in the 2020-2021 FA Cup, the English FA has been forced to reduce the prize money to £1.8 million. Initially, any club that wins the FA Cup was entitled to £3.6 million in prize money.

For instance, when Arsenal defeated Chelsea on August 1, 2020, they earned £3.6 million as the prize money but the prize money has been reversed to the 2017-2018 prize money, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that has hugely affected the flow of revenue.

When will the 2020-2021 FA Cup starts?

Arsenal football club celebrating 2019-2020 FA Cup victory
Arsenal football club celebrating 2019-2020 FA Cup victory

The 2020-2021 FA Cup will commence with an extra preliminary round which would kick-off on September 1, 2020. It will be followed by the Preliminary Round on September 12, 2020.

The other rounds will follow until May 15, 2021, when the final will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, England.

Here is the schedule of other FA Cup rounds:

First Round Qualifying – Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Second Round Qualifying – Saturday, October 3, 2020

Third Round Qualifying – Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Fourth Round Qualifying – Saturday, October 24, 2020

First Round Proper – Saturday, November 7, 2020

Second Round Proper – Saturday, November 28, 2020

Third Round Proper – Saturday, January 9, 2021

Fourth Round Proper – Saturday, January 23, 2021

Fifth Round Proper – Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Quarter-Finals – Saturday, March 20, 2021

Semi-Finals – Saturday, April 17, 2021

Final – Saturday, May 15, 2021

When will Carabao Cup starts?

The Carabao Cup will commence 4 days after the commencement of the FA Cup extra preliminary round. It will last from September 5 until on February 28, 2021, when the final will be played.

Manchester City is the reigning champions of the competition. They will be looking forward to landing their 4th conservative Carabao Cup in the forthcoming season.


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