FA Cup fifth-round replays scrapped a year earlier than planned due to European progression

The progression of all four clubs in the Champions League as well as the two Europa League sides to the knockout stages has led to the FA removing replays from the fifth round earlier than planned

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 18 December 2018 16:29 GMT
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The FA Cup fifth round replays have been scrapped this season
The FA Cup fifth round replays have been scrapped this season (Getty)

FA Cup fifth-round replays have been removed one season earlier than planned after the Football Association elected to take action after six of the Premier League’s top clubs reached the European knockout stages.

The move was due to be made in 2019/20 as part of the mid-season break that will be introduced, but an agreement has been reached with the Professional Game Board in order to reduce fixture congestion when European competitions restart in February.

It means that any ties still level after 90 minutes during the FA Cup fifth round, which will take place on the weekend of 16/17 February, will head to extra-time and, if needed, penalties in order to reach a result on the day.

The move will reduce a potential fixture from the schedule, but it will also in some cases lead to a loss of revenue for clubs with replays now no longer a possibility after the fourth round after sixth-round replays were scrapped in 2016.

“The FA has today announced that fifth round replays in the Emirates FA Cup will be removed from this season’s competition, one season earlier than previously planned,” and FA statement read.

“The move was agreed by the Professional Game Board and has been introduced to alleviate fixture congestion, with six Premier League clubs qualifying for the knockout stages of European competitions and Uefa Champions League, Uefa Europa League ties and a midweek round of Premier League fixtures scheduled in latter February and March.

“This season’s fifth round will remain as originally scheduled on the weekend of 16/17 February, moving to midweek in 2019-20 – with no replays – as part of the mid-season player break agreed by The FA, Premier League and EFL in June.”

The rule change has had an impact on how the fifth round prize money will be distributed, with the previous round winners due to earn £360,000. Instead, for this season only, the fee will be split in a 75-25 per cent share in favour of the winner – providing the match ends level at 90 minutes.

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