Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today confirmed the format of the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014, with draw principles that give grassroots clubs every chance to be giant-killers against the elite of the Hyundai A-League.
Preliminary matches involving over 600 clubs across Australia have commenced this month ahead of the national knock-out FFA Cup Round of 32 kicking off in late July.
That is the stage when the 10 Hyundai A-League clubs will join the 22 clubs who will have qualified from feeder cup competitions in eight states and territories – Queensland, NSW, Northern NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
A live Round of 32 draw will occur in late June this year and will see four Round of 32 matches in which Hyundai A-League clubs will be the away team against semi-professional or amateur clubs at suburban or regional venues.
The draw principles will ensure the “giant-killer” interest will run throughout the competition, with a minimum of one non Hyundai A-League club reaching the Semi-Finals stage, a minimum of three in the Quarter-Finals and a minimum of nine in the Round of 16.
At today’s launch at the home of National Premier Leagues club Rockdale City Suns, FFA CEO David Gallop unveiled the FFA Cup trophy, an impressive piece of footballing silverware that will be up for grabs at the Cup Final on 16 December.
“The FFA Cup has taken on an almost mythical status among football fans who have longed for a national knock-out cup competition to fill a void in the football calendar,” said Gallop.
“Today, the FFA Cup comes to life as a very tangible link between community football and the professional tier. It’s a unique sporting link from the locals to the legends.
“We all grew up with the romance of the English FA Cup and well remember the history of upsets. I’m sure the FFA Cup will bring the same fascination to fans across Australia.
”FFA today announced that Fox Sports has been appointed as the Official Broadcaster of the FFA Cup. The Fox Sports coverage will include a minimum of 10 matches from the Round of 32 onwards, including all Quarter-Finals, both Semi-Finals and the FFA Cup Final.