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England - FA Cup

The FA CUP, short for Football Association Challenge Cup, is a cup based on a knock out system in England. It was founded in 1871 and is currently sponsored by beer brand Budweiser. Clubs that are eligible play in the Premier League, Football League and from the steps 1 to 5. This means that clubs of all classes, from top teams till amateurs play in the FA Cup. Current champion of the FA Cup is Chelsea who defeated Liverpool in the final of 2012, 2 to 1. Chelsea seem to be real cupfighters in recent years as they have won four times in the last six years.

A match consists of one leg and if there is a tie, extra time and penalties are used to decide the winner. The complete FA Cup schedule has 14 rounds, of which six are qualifying rounds, followed by six real rounds in which clubs from higher divisions step in. After these 12 rounds only a semi-final and final remain. The FA cup usually starts mid-November and the six official rounds are played until March. The semi-final is played a month later and the final is not played until the Premier League finishes in May. Winners of the FA Cup qualify for the Europa League. However, when the winner has already qualified for the Champions League, the runner up of the FA Cup will proceed to the Europa League. This runner up does not start in the group phase, but has to begin at the play-off of Q3 stage.

Since the 2000's the number of participiants has been increasing significantly. During the 2004-2005 season the long standing 1921-1922 record of 656 was broken with the new record being 660 clubs. Ever since 2004 the number has been increasing, from 674, 687, to 731 in 2007-2008 and 762 in 2008-2010 seasons. The winner of the FA Cup receives a trophy. The current trophy is the fourh since the first FA Cup was played in 1871. The first was one was stolen and was melted down to make fake coins. The second one was given as a present in 1910 to then FA president Lord Kinnaird. The third one was used between 1911 and 1991 when it became too fragile to be used. Nowadays an exact replica of this third FA Cup trophy is being used.

The 2013 FA Cup's semi-finals are played between Millwall and Wigan Athletic and beteen Chelsea and Manchester City. Certainly Chelsea City will be awesome to watch live and streaming!

FA Cup 2013-2014

 FA Cup