FA announce third and fourth round replays are scrapped for this season

The FA (Football Association) have announced that third and fourth round replays have been scrapped in an attempt to ease fixture congestion.

The ties will now be concluded at the first attempt, with extra time and penalties played if necessary.

This comes after replays were scrapped throughout the competition last season. The FA intend to bring replays back in 2022/23.

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A statement from the FA read: “We can today confirm that replays have been removed in both the third and fourth rounds of the 2021-22 Emirates FA Cup.

“This exceptional decision was approved by the FA board on Friday, December 17 and has been taken in the wider interest of English football to alleviate the possibility of fixture congestion following several postponements in recent days and continued uncertainty ahead due to Covid-19.

“Ties in the third and fourth rounds of this season’s competition will be played to a finish on the day, with extra-time and penalty shootouts if required.

“Replays will return up to and including the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup from the 2022-23 season onwards.”

Elsewhere, the Premier League have confirmed that the 21/22 season will continue as planned.

A statement from the league read: “It was confirmed at a Premier League club meeting today that, while recognising a number of clubs are experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks and challenges, it is the league’s collective intention to continue the current fixture schedule where safely possible.

“A range of issues were discussed at this afternoon’s meeting, including the adaption of the Premier League Covid-19 postponement process in response to the impact of the Omicron variant.

“The league also confirmed to its clubs today that 92 per cent of players and club staff have received one, two or three Covid-19 vaccination doses, with 84 per cent of players on the vaccination journey.

“The league continues to work with clubs to encourage vaccination among players and club staff, as well as promoting the Government’s public-health vaccination messaging to clubs and the wider public.

“No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the league, and player vaccination rates will now be publicly communicated at the end of each month, beginning in January.”

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