FA Cup

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The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout cup competition in English football, run by and named after The Football Association. The name "FA Cup" usually refers to the English men's tournament, although a women's tournament is also held. Its current sponsored name is the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON.

The FA Cup was first held in 1871–72, and is the oldest association football competition in the world.[1] Because it involves clubs of all standards playing against each other, there is the possibility for "minnows" from the lower divisions to become "giant-killers" by eliminating top clubs from the tournament and even theoretically win the Cup, although lower division teams rarely reach the final.

The holders of the FA Cup are Chelsea, who beat relegated Premier League side Portsmouth in the 2010 final on 15 May 2010, to win a (club first) FA Cup and League Double[2].

Contents

Format

The competition is a knockout tournament with pairings for each round drawn at random – there are no seeds, and the draw for each round is not made until after the scheduled dates for the previous round. The draw also determines which teams will play at home.

Each tie is played as a single leg. If a match is drawn, there is a replay, usually at the ground of the team who were away for the first game. Drawn replays are now settled with extra time and penalty shootouts, though until the 1990s further replays would be played until one team was victorious. Some ties took as many as six matches to settle; in their 1975 campaign, Fulham played a total of 12 games over six rounds, which remains the most games played by a team to reach a final.[3] Replays were traditionally played three or four days after the original game, but from 1991–92 they were staged at least 10 days later on police advice. This led to penalty shoot-outs being introduced. Replays are no longer held for the semi-finals or final.

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