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FA Cup
2020–21
FA Cup logo.png
Region Flag of England England
Flag of Wales Wales
Flag of Guernsey Guernsey
Dates 31 August 2020 – 15 May 2021
Number of teams 736 (all)
644 (qualifying competition)
124 (main competition)
Defending champions Arsenal
Previous season
Next season
 ← 2019–20
 → 

The 2020–21 FA Cup (also known as the Football Association Challenge Cup) is the 140th edition of the oldest football tournament in the world. It is sponsored by Emirates and known as The Emirates FA Cup for sponsorship purposes. The winner qualifies for the 2021-22 UEFA Europa League.

Teams

The FA Cup is a knockout competition with 124 teams taking part all trying to reach the Final at Wembley in May 2021. The competition consists of the 92 teams from the Football League system. (20 teams from the Premier League and the 72 in total from the EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two) plus the 32 surviving teams out of 644 teams from the National League System (levels 5–10 of the English Football League System) that started the competition in qualifying rounds.

All rounds are drawn randomly usually either at the completion of the previous round or on the evening of the last televised game of a round being played depending on television broadcasting rights.

This year the competition could be subject to changes to the rules and round dates etc at short notice due to following latest national and local government guidelines because of the COVID-19 pandemic in England.

Round Main Date Number of Fixtures Clubs Remaining New Entries This Round Prize Money Winner Prize Money Loser Leagues Entering This Round
First Round Proper Saturday 7 November 2020 40 124 → 84 48 £22,629 None 24 EFL League One teams
24 EFL League Two teams
Second Round Proper Saturday 28 November 2020 20 84 → 64 None £34,000 None None
Third Round Proper Saturday 9 January 2021 32 64 → 32 44 £82,000 None 20 Premier League teams
24 EFL Championship teams
Fourth Round Proper Saturday 23 January 2021 16 32 → 16 None £90,000 None None
Fifth Round Proper Wednesday 10 February 2021 8 16 → 8 None £180,000 None None
Quarter-Finals Saturday 20 March 2021 4 8 → 4 None £360,000 None None
Semi-Finals Saturday 17 April 2021 2 4 → 2 None £900,000 £450,000 None
Final Saturday 15 May 2021 1 2 → 1 None £1,800,000 £900,000 None

Delay and scheduling

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom, the previous season's competition was delayed, with the final scheduled to be played roughly three months late, on 1 August 2020. In a normal year, the FA Cup would start in August, but with the previous season finishing late, the start of the 2020–21 FA Cup will also be delayed to 1 September 2020.

Contrary to initial specualtion that the 2020–21 FA Cup would be reduced in size, on 25 July 2020, the FA confirmed that lower league teams would be able to compete in the competition, with 736 places available (as in previous seasons) and 889 entrants. All eligible teams at step 5 of the National League System (and above) will be accepted into the competition, with the remaining places given to clubs at step 6. In previous seasons step 6 clubs have been given access to the Extra Preliminary Round based on their league position, but due to the cancellation of these leagues in 2019–20, the places for these teams will be allocated by a random draw instead.

Round and draw dates

Full dates and tournament rules are expected to be confirmed by the FA in the week of 3 August 2020, but planned dates for the qualifying rounds have been released to clubs in the National League System.

Phase Round Draw date Draw venue First match date
Qualifying rounds Extra Preliminary Round 18 August 2020 31 August 2020
Preliminary Round 12 September 2020
First Round Qualifying 14 September 2020 22 September 2020
Second Round Qualifying 25 September 2020 3 October 2020
Third Round Qualifying 13 October 2020
Fourth Round Qualifying 24 October 2020
Main tournament First Round Proper 7 November 2020
Second Round Proper 28 November 2020
Third Round Proper 9 January 2021
Fourth Round Proper 23 January 2021
Fifth Round Proper 10 February 2021
Quarter-finals 20 March 2021
Semi-finals 17 April 2021
Final 15 May 2021

Rules changes

To fit into a truncated schedule for the 2020–21 season, replays were removed from the competition. The prize fund has been reduced, with figures returning to those last used in the 2017–18 FA Cup.

Qualifying rounds

Main article: 2020–21 FA Cup qualifying rounds

All of the competing teams that are not members of either the Premier League or English Football League will compete in the qualifying rounds to secure one of 32 available places in the First Round Proper. The qualifying competition is scheduled to begin with the Extra Preliminary Round on 1 September 2020.

Prize fund

Round Fate Number of Teams Amount
Extra Preliminary Round losers 184 £375
winners 184 £1,125
Preliminary Round losers 160 £481
winners 160 £1,444
First Round Qualifying losers 117 £750
winners 117 £2,250
Second Round Qualifying losers 80 £1,125
winners 80 £3,375
Third Round Qualifying losers 40 £1,875
winners 40 £5,625
Fourth Round Qualifying losers 32 £3,125
winners 32 £9,375
First Round Proper winners 40 £22,629
Second Round Proper winners 20 £34,000
Third Round Proper winners 32 £82,000
Fourth Round Proper winners 16 £90,000
Fifth Round Proper winners 8 £180,000
Quarter Final winners 4 £360,000
Semi Final losers 2 £450,000
winners 2 £900,000
Final runners-up 1 £900,000
winners 1 £1,800,000
Total £15,924,160
Sources:

External links

2020-21 FA Cup match days

Qualifying round | First round | Second round | Third round | Fourth round | Fifth round | Sixth round | Semi-Finals | Final 

FA Cup
FA Cup seasons

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FA Cup finals

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220px-England crest 2009.svg.png
Flag of England 2020–21 in English football
FA competitions
FA Cup (Qualifying Rounds, Final) · FA Community Shield · FA Trophy (Final) · FA Vase (Final)
League cups
EFL Cup (Final) · EFL Trophy (Final)
Premier and Football League
Premier League · Football League (Championship · League One · League Two)
National League
National League (National League · North · South)
Lower leagues
Isthmian League (Premier · North · South Central · South East) · Northern Premier League (Premier · North West · South East) · Southern Football League (Premier Central · Premier South · Division One Central · Division One South) · Combined Counties League (Premier, One) · East Midlands Counties League (level 10 only) · Eastern Counties League (Premier, One North, One South) · Essex Senior League (level 9 only) · Hellenic League (Premier, One East, One West) · Midland League (Premier, One) · Northern Counties East League (Premier, One) · Northern League (One, Two) · North West Counties League (Premier, One North, One South) · Southern Combination League (Premier, One, Two) · Southern Counties East League (Premier, One) · South West Peninsula League (East, West) · Spartan South Midlands League (Premier, One) · United Counties League (Premier, One) · Wessex League (Premier, One) · Western League (Premier, One) · West Midlands (Regional) League (level 10 only)
Playoffs
European competitions

Champions League (Final) · Europa League (Final)

National teams

Senior: (2020–21 UEFA Nations League group stage) · (UEFA Euro 2020 finals) · (2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying round) · U21: (UEFA Euro 2021 qualifying round, finals) · U19: (UEFA Euro 2021 qualifying round, finals) · U17: (UEFA Euro 2021 qualifying round, finals)

Other

Summer 2020 transfers · Winter 2020–21 transfers ·

Club seasons
Premier League

Arsenal · Aston Villa · Brighton & Hove Albion · Burnley · Chelsea · Crystal Palace · Everton · Fulham · Leeds United · Leicester City · Liverpool · Manchester City · Manchester United · Newcastle United · Sheffield United · Southampton · Tottenham Hotspur · West Bromwich Albion · West Ham United · Wolverhampton Wanderers

Championship

Barnsley · Birmingham City · Blackburn Rovers · Bournemouth · Brentford · Bristol City · Cardiff City · Coventry City · Derby County · Huddersfield Town · Luton Town · Millwall · Middlesbrough · Norwich City · Nottingham Forest · Preston North End · Queens Park Rangers · Reading · Rotherham United · Sheffield Wednesday · Stoke City · Swansea City · Watford · Wycombe Wanderers

League One

Accrington Stanley · AFC Wimbledon · Blackpool · Bristol Rovers · Burton Albion · Charlton Athletic · Crewe Alexandra · Doncaster Rovers · Fleetwood Town · Gillingham · Hull City · Ipswich Town · Lincoln City · Milton Keynes Dons · Northampton Town · Oxford United · Peterborough United · Plymouth Argyle · Portsmouth · Rochdale · Shrewsbury Town · Sunderland · Swindon Town · Wigan Athletic

League Two

Barrow · Bolton Wanderers · Bradford City · Cambridge United · Carlisle United · Cheltenham Town · Colchester United · Crawley Town · Exeter City · Forest Green Rovers · Grimsby Town · Harrogate Town · Leyton Orient · Mansfield Town · Morecambe · Newport County · Oldham Athletic · Port Vale · Salford City · Scunthorpe United · Southend United · Tranmere Rovers · Walsall

National League

Aldershot Town · Altrincham · Barnet · Boreham Wood · Bromley · Chesterfield · Chorley · Dagenham & Redbridge · Dover Athletic · Eastleigh · Halifax Town · Hartlepool United · King's Lynn Town · Maidenhead United · Notts County · Solihull Moors · Stevenage · Stockport County · Sutton United · Torquay United · Wealdstone · Weymouth · Woking · Wrexham · Yeovil Town

National League North

Fylde · AFC Telford United · Alfreton Town · Blyth Spartans · Boston United · Brackley Town · Bradford Park Avenue · Chester · Chorley · Curzon Ashton · Darlington · Farsley Celtic · Gateshead · Gloucester City · Guiseley · Hereford · Kettering Town · Kidderminster Harriers · Leamington · Southport · Spennymoor Town · York City

National League South

Bath City · Billericay Town · Braintree Town · Chelmsford City · Chippenham Town · Concord Rangers · Dartford · Dorking Wanderers · Dulwich Hamlet · Eastbourne Borough · Ebbsfleet United · Hampton & Richmond Borough · Havant & Waterlooville · Hemel Hempstead Town · Hungerford Town · Maidstone United · Oxford City · Slough Town · St Albans City · Tonbridge Angels · Welling United ·

2019–20                                                        

202021 in European football (UEFA)
Domestic leagues

Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Austria · Azerbaijan · Belarus '20 '21 · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Bulgaria · Croatia · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · England · Estonia '20 '21 · Faroe Islands '20 '21 · Finland '20 '21 · France · Georgia '20 '21 · Germany · Gibraltar · Greece · Hungary · Iceland '20 '21 · Israel · Italy · Kazakhstan '20 '21 · Kosovo · Latvia '20 '21 · Lithuania '20 '21 · Luxembourg · Malta · Moldova '20 '21 · Montenegro · Netherlands · North Macedonia · Northern Ireland · Norway '20 '21 · Poland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Scotland · Serbia · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden '20 '21 · Switzerland · Turkey · Ukraine · Wales

Domestic cups

Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Austria · Azerbaijan · Belarus · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Bulgaria · Croatia · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · England · Estonia · Faroe Islands '20 '21 · Finland · France · Georgia '20 '21 · Germany · Gibraltar · Greece · Hungary · Iceland '20 '21 · Israel · Italy · Kazakhstan '20 '21 · Kosovo · Latvia '20 '21 · Liechtenstein · Lithuania '20 '21 · Luxembourg · Malta · Moldova · Montenegro · Netherlands · North Macedonia · Northern Ireland · Norway '20 '21 · Poland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Scotland · Serbia · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland · Turkey · Ukraine · Wales

League cups

England · Estonia · France · Iceland '20 '21 · Israel · Latvia · Northern Ireland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Scotland · Wales

Supercups

Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Azerbaijan · Belarus · Belgium · Bulgaria · Cyprus · England · Estonia · Faroe Islands · France · Georgia · Germany · Gibraltar · Hungary · Iceland · Israel · Italy · Kazakhstan · Kosovo · Lithuania '20 '21 · Malta · Moldova · Netherlands · Northern Ireland · Norway '20 '21 · Poland · Portugal · Republic of Ireland '20 '21 · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Spain · Turkey · Ukraine

UEFA competitions

Champions League (qualifying phase and play-off round, group stage, knockout phase, Final) · Europa League (qualifying phase and play-off round, Champions Path, Main Path, group stage, knockout phase, Final) · Super Cup

International competitions
UEFA Euro 2021 (qualification) · 2022 FIFA World Cup (qualification) · 2020–21 UEFA Nations League (League A · League B · League C · League D · Finals · Final)
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