• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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EFL clubs kick as FA Cup replays scrapped


English Football League Championship clubs have kicked against the Football Association’s decision to cancel FA Cup replays starting from the 2024/25 season.

The FA in a statement stated that “all parties agreed” to axe replay that the tradition could no longer be sustained.

But EFL claimed the Premier League and FA reached the decision without the consent of the EFL.

The tournament will now take place on weekends, with replays removed from the equation beginning from the first round onwards.

“The removal of Emirates FA Cup replays was a topic of early discussions, and all parties recognized the impracticality of their continuation,” a statement from the FA reads.

“Subsequent talks then centred on enhancing the strength of all competitions, given the constraints of fewer available dates and the imperative of maintaining player welfare.”

Expressing discontent, the EFL has urged the FA to reconsider its approach, arguing that there was no formal agreement before the announcement and no comprehensive consultation process.

They further assert that clubs are being sidelined in favour of those higher up the football hierarchy.

While acknowledging the sentiment behind preserving the “David and Goliath” fixtures that replays often provide, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson emphasized that the decision ultimately rests with footballing authorities.,

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticized the move, asserting that replays are an integral part of the FA Cup’s tradition.

Numerous clubs from the EFL and lower tiers of the football pyramid have voiced their opposition, asserting that the decision strips away a traditional source of revenue.

Among them, League One side Exeter and their supporters’ trust have denounced the decision, urging the FA to halt these changes immediately until a comprehensive consultation involving all stakeholders has been conducted.