Monday, 31 August 2020

The FA Cup Is Back!

This week the FA Cup returns. With the latter stages of last season's competition delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the knock-on effects have meant a delay in starting the new season's competition. Finally, however, the 2020-21 FA Cup is about to get underway. 

Over the next few days, 184 teams from the lowest echelons of non-league football will participate in the Extra Preliminary Round of the competition with most matches allowed up to 300 spectators present. The winners are joined by a further 136 clubs in the Preliminary before various clubs join along the way as the competition goes through the first, second, third, and fourth qualifying rounds before we reach the First Round proper.

When last season's competition begun I visited Whitely Bay FC in the Extra Preliminary Round and you can read my piece, as featured in Football Weekends magazine, here. Also, if you love the magic of the FA Cup then you will love how they do things across the channel and you can read my feature on the Coupe de France, a competition which covers several continents, here.

As for this year's Extra Preliminary Round, you can view the full draw here. (Though it must be pointed out some matches have been moved from Tuesday to Wednesday night, check with individual clubs for exact details especially as spectator numbers are currently limited due to COVID)

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