The FA Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious football competitions in the world. It has a rich history dating back to 1871 and has seen some of the most memorable moments in English football.
If you’re wondering how many rounds are there in the FA Cup, you’re in the right place. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to the competition, including the number of rounds, how the competition works, and some interesting facts about the FA Cup.
So, whether you’re a die-hard football fan or just curious about the FA Cup, read on to find out everything you need to know about this iconic competition.
What is the FA Cup?
The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men’s domestic English football. It is also the oldest football competition in the world, having been first played in 1871-72. The FA Cup is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system, which means that even non-league clubs can participate.
History of the FA Cup
The FA Cup was first played in the 1871-72 season, with 15 teams participating. The first winner of the FA Cup was the Wanderers, who won the final against the Royal Engineers 1-0. Since then, the competition has grown in popularity and has become an important part of English football culture. Throughout its long history, there have been many memorable moments in the FA Cup, such as the “Matthews Final” in 1953 and the “Giant-Killing” of non-league Hereford United against Newcastle United in 1972.
Importance of the FA Cup
The FA Cup is considered to be one of the most prestigious competitions in English football. Winning the FA Cup is seen as a significant achievement for any club, regardless of their league position. The FA Cup final is one of the most-watched sporting events in the world, with millions of viewers tuning in to see who will lift the trophy. Additionally, winning the FA Cup also guarantees a place in the Europa League for the following season, which is a major incentive for smaller clubs.
Current format of the FA Cup
The current format of the FA Cup involves 12 rounds of matches, starting with the Extra Preliminary Round and ending with the Final. The competition is open to any club that is a member of the Football Association, from the Premier League down to Level 10 of the English football league system. The first six rounds are played on a knockout basis, with replays if necessary. The quarter-finals and semi-finals are played on a one-off basis at neutral venues, while the Final is played at Wembley Stadium in London.
|Round||Number of teams|
|Extra Preliminary Round||368|
|First Qualifying Round||222|
|Second Qualifying Round||160|
|Third Qualifying Round||80|
|Fourth Qualifying Round||32|
|First Round Proper||48|
|Second Round Proper||40|
|Third Round Proper||64|
|Fourth Round Proper||32|
|Fifth Round Proper||16|
How Many Rounds are There in the FA Cup?
The FA Cup is one of the most prestigious football competitions in the world. It is a knockout tournament that brings together teams from different leagues and divisions to compete for the trophy. The competition is made up of several rounds, each with its unique features that make the FA Cup a thrilling competition to follow. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different rounds of the FA Cup.
- The qualifying rounds are the first rounds of the FA Cup, and they involve teams from the lower leagues and divisions.
- There are six qualifying rounds in total, and they are played before the first round proper.
- These rounds are crucial for lower-ranked teams as they get the opportunity to progress to the first round proper and play against more established teams.
First Round Proper
- The first round proper is the first round of the FA Cup proper.
- It involves teams from the lower leagues and divisions that have progressed from the qualifying rounds and some teams from the higher leagues.
- In total, there are 48 teams that participate in the first round proper.
Second Round Proper
- The second round proper is the second round of the FA Cup proper.
- It involves the winners from the first round proper and more established teams from the higher leagues.
- In total, there are 40 teams that participate in the second round proper.
Third Round Proper
- The third round proper is a significant round in the FA Cup as it is where Premier League and Championship teams enter the tournament.
- It involves the winners from the second round proper and 44 more established teams.
- The third round proper is where the giant-killing stories often happen, where lower-league teams beat Premier League giants.
Fourth Round Proper
- The fourth round proper involves the winners from the third round and more established teams from the higher leagues.
- In total, there are 32 teams that participate in the fourth round proper.
Fifth Round Proper
- The fifth round proper is the round where the competition starts to get serious.
- It involves the winners from the fourth round proper and more established teams from the higher leagues.
- In total, there are 16 teams that participate in the fifth round proper.
- The quarter-finals are the round where the competition reaches its peak.
- It involves the winners from the fifth round proper, and only eight teams participate in this round.
- At this stage, the teams are only two games away from reaching the final, and the competition gets more intense.
- The semi-finals are the penultimate round of the FA Cup.
- It involves the four remaining teams, and the winners progress to the final.
- The semi-finals are usually played at a neutral venue, and it is a knockout game.
- The final is the last round of the FA Cup.
- It is a one-off game played at Wembley Stadium, and it is the most significant game in the competition.
- The winners are crowned the FA Cup champions and get to lift the trophy.
Now that you know the different rounds of the FA Cup, you can follow the competition and enjoy the drama that unfolds in each round. For more information on the FA Cup, visit the official FA Cup website.
Interesting Facts About the FA Cup
The FA Cup, also known as the Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in the United Kingdom. It is the oldest football competition in the world, having been first played in 1871. Here are some interesting facts about the FA Cup:
- Record Winners: Arsenal holds the record for the most FA Cup wins with 14 titles. Manchester United and Chelsea follow closely with 12 and 8 wins respectively.
- Giant Killings: In the FA Cup, lower-league teams have the chance to compete against top-flight teams. These matchups are referred to as “giant killings.” One of the most famous giant killings happened in 2013 when League Two team Bradford City beat Premier League team Chelsea 4-2.
- Upsets: The FA Cup is known for its upsets. In 2018, Wigan Athletic, a third-tier team, beat Manchester City, the reigning Premier League champions, in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
- Cupsets: A cupset occurs when a team from a lower division beats a team from a higher division. In 2008, Barnsley, a team from the Championship, beat Liverpool, a team from the Premier League, in the fifth round of the FA Cup.
- Emirates FA Cup: Emirates has been the sponsor of the FA Cup since 2015. The competition is now officially known as the Emirates FA Cup.
The FA Cup is a competition that brings excitement and drama to football fans across the United Kingdom. With its long and rich history, the competition continues to capture the imagination of football fans worldwide.
For more information on the FA Cup, check out The FA’s official website.
In conclusion, the FA Cup is one of the most exciting and unpredictable football competitions in the world. It has a rich history and provides an opportunity for lower league and non-league teams to compete against the biggest clubs in England.
There are a total of 14 rounds in the FA Cup, starting with the qualifying rounds and ending with the final at Wembley Stadium. It’s a competition that captures the imagination of football fans around the world and produces some of the most memorable moments in English football history.
So, whether you’re a fan of Manchester United or a supporter of your local non-league team, the FA Cup is a competition that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.