It is the most famous sporting competition in the UK and football's oldest competition. It's watched by millions of people. Read more to understand Britain's obsession with the FA Cup final.

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History

The Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup for short) is the oldest football competition in the world. The first ever FA Cup was held in the 1871–1872 season and it has been held every year since, except for the years during both World Wars.

Since 1923 the FA Cup final has been played at Wembley Stadium in London, but was moved to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, between the years 2001 and 2006 while Wembley Stadium was being redeveloped.

Format

The FA Cup is a knockout competition with teams selected randomly in a 'draw'. This 'draw' is often shown live on television and decides which team plays at their home ground and which team plays away.

The competition starts in August when the non-league and amateur teams enter the draw. The big professional teams such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool don't enter the competition until the third round in January.

If the scores are level after 90 minutes, the match is replayed at a different stadium. If the score is still level after two games, the lottery of a penalty shoot-out decides which team progresses to the next round.

The semi-finals are always played at a neutral ground and the final is played at Wembley Stadium in May. Millions of British families watch the final, and national newspapers and news reports cover every detail of the game for days afterwards. Posters and pictures of the winning captain lifting the cup inspire teenage footballers all over the country.

The romance of the FA Cup

People often say the FA Cup has a special quality and romance different from other sporting competitions. Over 700 teams take part, from the mega-rich superstars of Manchester United to the part-time teachers, mechanics and electricians that play in amateur teams. The romance of the Cup refers to when smaller teams beat the superstar professional teams from the Premier League. Surprise victories are both common and part of FA Cup history, and these small teams become known as 'giant-killers'.

The most successful teams in FA Cup history are Manchester United and Arsenal. In recent years, however, Chelsea have also been successful in the competition. But every year, fans of every team in the UK hope and dream that this will be their year to go to Wembley and win the most famous of cups.

This year's final

Which teams are heading for the final this year? Check out the FA's website (www.thefa.com/competitions/thefacup) to see the latest news and results.

Who will you be supporting?

Total votes: 626
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Discussion

Will you be watching the FA Cup final this year? Who will you be supporting?
Which football teams are popular in your country?

Comments

Kontraktilkoful's picture
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Kontraktilkoful 11 January, 2016 - 15:02

I don't think that i will watch FA Cup final. I'm not interested football that much. But i would like to Manchester United win the FA Cup this year. I like Manchester United.

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65 users have voted.
Bosnianchild's picture
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Bosnianchild 6 August, 2014 - 13:05

My favorite team is Chelsea so I am going to watch FA Cup. But not just for Chelsea, there is other reason. Three bosnian players will be in FA Cup. There are: Edin Džeko( Manchester City), Asmir Begović( Stoke City- he is goalkeeper) and Muhamed Bešić ( Everton)..

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122 users have voted.
Frodo's picture
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Frodo 10 May, 2014 - 10:40

Yes, i like watching FA cup. I love REAL MADRID REAL MADRID REAL MADRID REAL MADRID

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118 users have voted.
dungtran's picture
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dungtran 14 June, 2013 - 05:05

Hello everyboy! I come from Vietnam. I really like football. In my country, we have V-league competition. There are about 14 teams. It's very exciting. That is a sport that has lots of fans in Vietnam. One of the football competitions, I really like Premier League. And I like the most Chelsea FC. Because there are many players who i admire such as Eden hazard, Torres, and Mata. In this summer, Arsenal FC will come my country. And they have a friendly match with my national team. I'm looking forward to watch it! ^^

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119 users have voted.
RedYellowTomorrow's picture
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RedYellowTomorrow 29 May, 2015 - 19:02

Hi dungtran, I am a Vietnamese too and love football too. I hope V-league competition will be famous the same Premier League in the future. Becuase the first, The players Vietnamese will get high salary and there are foreign visitors to come our country, help tourism to develop. The second We won't buy K+ that it is not free television channel.

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91 users have voted.
HoussemALG's picture
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HoussemALG 12 June, 2013 - 16:00

I love football and i'm a good player. In algeria evry one play football and all of them are crazy football fans

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118 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 5 June, 2013 - 09:45

hello boris123
yes, i agree wholly with your comments
How do you want to spend your summer holidays?
I would like to hear your opinion....

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115 users have voted.
boris123's picture
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boris123 3 June, 2013 - 11:33

No, I won't. I don't like football at all, but some of my friends like it and I'll recommend them to watch it, because it seems to be really good for football lovers.
Every year Serbia organise Serbian Super Liga and it's a football competition. Than we have Serbia Open-we organised that competition a few years before, and it was wrestling competition. I don't like wrestling at all, it's so rough sport. We also have a bicycle race, and it was last year, I think, and it was organised for invalids. And I'd like to mention the funniest competition-it's Trka na stiklama(or The race on heels)-for women only, and they have to run on high heels, and it's so funny to watch it. The majority doesn't even resist 10 minutes, but persistent ones reaches to the end, and won very expensive things. We also organise Belgrade rollerblading and I participated once at that competition and won the 2nd place.
Serbia also organise many dance competitions, and that's the only competition I watch every time, because I train dance and I participate at dance competition every year.
And teens from whole Serbia once a year, in mid-April, have opportunity to participate at Kros. Kros is a running competition, and it very popular among teens and youngsters. I participated several times, and had a great time.
I'd like to hear something about sporting events in the other countries, so write:).

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135 users have voted.
alvhernandes1's picture
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alvhernandes1 20 May, 2013 - 19:09

I love Manchester United or Borussia Dormunt and Bayern Munchen. this teams are the best teams . Before was Real Madrid and Barcelona c.f. but not now

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153 users have voted.
jaime c.e.'s picture
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jaime c.e. 20 May, 2013 - 13:13

I LOVE football, but I am so bad, AND I prefer play paddle because is funnier

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142 users have voted.
pablyko's picture
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pablyko 20 May, 2013 - 13:08

i am so excited with the final match.I hope Borrussia will wins the champions league.

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157 users have voted.
Javito's picture
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Javito 20 May, 2013 - 13:02

Real Madrid is the best team in Europe, but this year it isn't do a nice year, I don't like Mourinho.

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169 users have voted.
carlos baro's picture
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carlos baro 20 May, 2013 - 12:58

In my opinion Chelsea is the best football team in Uk but Real Madrid is better than Chelsea.

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148 users have voted.
azmiihsan's picture
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azmiihsan 20 May, 2013 - 05:35

I don't like football and I can't play it. I think football is boring. But, in my country, Indonesia, lots of boys love it. In some occasion, I'd love to see it :)

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172 users have voted.
sailor moon's picture
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sailor moon 19 May, 2013 - 20:48

i like very much football. my favourite team is Barcelona
but i like and Milan. It is a very good team.

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142 users have voted.

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