Inaugural FFA Cup launched in 2014
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today (Monday 24 February, 2014) confirmed the format of the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014.
Draw principles 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 NSW National Premier Leagues 1 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, 2014.
“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 final stages 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.
Check your State and Territory Federation web pages for more information of the earlier stages.
Check out the new FFA Cup Facebook page: facebook.com/ffacup
Follow @FFACup on Twitter
1. What is the FFA Cup?
The FFA Cup is a national knockout tournament run by FFA in conjunction with the State and Territory Member Federations in Queensland, NSW, Northern NSW, Victoria, ACT, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
Each and every cup tie must be decided on the day, with extra time and penalties to decide results of matches drawn after 90 minutes.
Over 600 clubs will play in the feeder competitions run by the states and territories. The Hyundai A-League clubs join the competition in the Round of 32, alongside 22 clubs who have progressed from the ranks of the semi-professional and amateur tiers.
The 2014 FFA Cup final will be played on Tuesday 16 December.
2. How are the slots for the Round of 32 decided?
Each state and territory is allocated a number of places in the Round of 32, based on the number of registered players in each jurisdiction. Each state and territory decides the qualification route. For example, in some states, this will be the winner of the state-based knock out cup. In other states, all semi-finallists will qualify.
The final allocation for the Round of 32 comprises:
a) Twenty-two (22) Member Federation Clubs comprising:
Football NSW – 7 Clubs
Football Federation Victoria – 4 Clubs
Football Queensland – 4 Clubs
Football West – 2 Clubs
NNSW Football – 2 Clubs
Capital Football – 1 Club
Football Federation SA – 1 Club
Football Federation Tasmania – 1 Club
* Northern Territory will participate in 2015 FFA Cup
b) All ten (10) Hyundai A-League Clubs.
3. How many FFA Cup matches will be broadcast live on Fox Sports?
There will be a minimum of 10 matches broadcast on Fox Sports. One (1) Round of 32 Match, two (2) Round of 16 Match, and all Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and the FFA Cup Final.
Fox Sports may elect to broadcast additional FFA Cup matches from the Round of 32.
The first FFA Cup match broadcast live on Fox Sports will be on the opening night on Tuesday 29 July 2014. All broadcast matches will kick off at 7.30pm.
4. What are the Qualifying Tournament dates and formats for each State and Territory?
Member Federation (Qualifying Tournament Dates)
*Capital Football (15 March 2014 – 2 April 2014) – Single FFA Cup entrant known on 2 April 2014
* Football Federation South Australia (15 February 2014 – 31 May 2014) – Single FFA Cup entrant known on 31 May 2014
* Football West (5 April 2014 – 19 July 2014) – Two FFA Cup entrants known on 2 June 2014
* Football New South Wales (15 March 2014 – 6 July 2014) – Seven FFA Cup entrants known on 5 June 2014
* Football Queensland (11 February 2014 – late July 2014) – Four FFA Cup entrants known on 7 June 2014
* Football Federation Victoria (1 March 2014 – 7 September 2014) – Four FFA Cup entrants known on 9 June 2014
* Football Federation Tasmania (9 March 2014 – 10 June 2014) – Single FFA Cup entrant known on 10 June 2014
* Northern New South Wales Football (15 February 2014 – 22 June 2014) – Two FFA Cup entrants known on 22 June 2014
5. What are the dates of the 2014 FFA Cup matches?
*Round of 32
Tuesday 29 July 2014 (4 Matches)
Tuesday 5 August 2014 (4 Matches)
Tuesday 12 August 2014 (4 Matches)
Tuesday 19 August 2014 (4 Matches)
* Round of 16
Tuesday 16 September 2014 (4 Matches)
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 (4 Matches)
Tuesday 14 October 2014 (2 Matches)
Tuesday 28 October 2014 (2 Matches)
Tuesday 11 November 2014 (1 Match)
Tuesday 25 November 2014 (1 Match)
* Cup Final
Tuesday 16 December 2014
6. What are the Draw Principles for the FFA Cup Draw?
The Draw Principles aim to give grassroots clubs an even chance to be giant-killers against the elite of the Hyundai A-League. This is the essence of the FFA Cup.
Therefore, the Draw Principles seek to enable fixtures between A-League and semi-pro and amateur clubs throughout the draw.
In addition, the Draw Principles balance the vagaries of different season schedules between the professional tier (predominantly summer) and the non-professional tiers (predominantly winter).
Further, the Draw Principles take into account the impact of Hyundai A-League finals and Asian Champions League commitments.
For the live Round of 32 draw, there will be three (3) Pots from which the participating Clubs will be drawn as follows:
*Pot A – the Hyundai A-League Clubs who finish in the Top 4 of the 2013/14 Season after the Final Series (i.e. make the Hyundai A-League Semi-Finals).
*Pot B – the Hyundai A-League Clubs who finish in the Bottom 6 of the 2013/14 Season after the Finals Series.
*Pot C – the 22 qualified Member Federation Clubs.
Pot A will be drawn first until empty, the draw will then continue with Pot B drawn until empty and then Pot C drawn until all Clubs have been allocated a fixture.
From the Round of 16, Quarter Finals and Semi Finals, Clubs will be allocated into one of two (2) pots for the Live Draws:
a) Pot A – Hyundai A-League Clubs
b) Pot B – Member Federation Clubs
Positions in the draw will be numbered. Clubs will then be allocated positions in number order as drawn (i.e. first Hyundai A-League Club will be in position 1). Clubs will be drawn from Pot A until empty, and then Pot B until all Clubs have been allocated a fixture.
7. Why are Hyundai A-League Clubs seeded into the Round of 32?
Consideration has been given to season phasing and providing each Club with the best opportunity to compete at full strength.
This seeding for the Round of 32 provides Hyundai A-League Clubs with some certainty in order to plan pre-season schedules around FFA Cup matches. Appreciating this is a period when Hyundai A-League Clubs generally do not play competitive matches, it also ensures there is an equality of off-season across all 10 Hyundai A-League Clubs, as those Clubs who play later in the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League Finals Series are seeded into the later Round of 32 matches in order to maximise player availability during the traditional off-season.
The match schedule also avoids a Round 16 fixture clash for Hyundai A-League Clubs who may be participating in a AFC Asian Champions League Quarter Final on 17 September 2014, and provides a 3 week break and clear air in the lead up to the start of the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League Season (on 10 October 2014).
8. Why does the FFA Cup draw produce a Semi-Final with at least one Member Federation Club?
The Draw Principles provide for at least one Member Federation Club to qualify for the 2014 FFA Cup Semi Finals. It is important that the FFA Cup is differentiated from existing competitions and provides a genuine opportunity for grassroots and NPL clubs to compete on the national stage.
Member Federation Club(s) that progress to the FFA Cup Semi-Finals will have earned their birth. In order for a Member Federation Club to qualify for the Semi Final of the FFA Cup, the Club would have already had to, firstly, qualify via their relevant State Cup and, secondly, win three FFA Cup Final Round Matches.
9. Why is Wellington Phoenix participating in the FFA Cup?
As a Club licensed by FFA to participate in the Hyundai A-League Club, Wellington Phoenix should be afforded the same opportunity as other Hyundai A-League Clubs to play in the FFA Cup. As a professional club, Wellington Phoenix is not able to play in New Zealand Football’s Chatham Cup.
In accordance with FIFA Regulations, Wellington Phoenix’s participation in the FFA Cup has been approved by FIFA, the AFC, the OFC and New Zealand Football.
Wellington Phoenix will play all FFA Cup matches in Australia.
10. Will FFA cover the costs of travel for competing Clubs?
FFA will cover reasonable flights, ground transport and accommodation for a travelling party of 21 for each travelling Away Club.
11. Who retains the rights to ticket revenue?
The home Club will incur applicable venue hosting costs and receive all associated ticket revenue, excluding the FFA Cup Final which will be run by FFA.
12. How will the home Clubs be determined?
Where matches involve Member Federation Clubs only, the first drawn Club will be given hosting rights. Where matches involve a Member Federation Club and a Hyundai A-League Club, the Member Federation Club will be given the right to host. Where both Clubs involved are Hyundai A-League Clubs, the first drawn Club will have hosting rights.
13. Will suburban grounds be able to meet the FFA Cup Venue and Security Standards for broadcast matches?
FFA wants to embrace the unique atmosphere of cup competitions and play as many FFA Cup matches at suburban grounds as possible. However, each venue will need to meet appropriate Minimum Venue and Security Standards that will be in place for the FFA Cup.
14. Why are all matches scheduled to be played on a Tuesday night?
This creates a consistency for the viewer and fan to identify with Tuesday night as the night to watch the FFA Cup.
Not all FFA Cup matches will necessarily be played on a Tuesday night. For player welfare reasons, matches may be rescheduled to Wednesday depending on the league fixtures of the participating Clubs.
15. Why is the 2014 FFA Cup Final not on a weekend?
This was not possible for 2014 given the busy 2014/15 Season Fixture due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. It is the intention for the FFA Cup Final for 2015 onwards to be on a weekend, to emphasise the importance of the FFA Cup Final within Australia’s football calendar and consistent with national knockout competitions in other countries.
16. Where will the FFA Cup Final be played?
Similar to the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, the venue for the Cup Final will be determined in the interest of FFA, competing Clubs, their members and supporters.
17. Will the respective state Cups continue in 2015 onwards?
This is still to be determined and is a decision for each Member Federation. As each Member Federation will operate the FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds for 2015 onwards, the Preliminary Rounds may replace some existing State Cups or the State Cups may vary in format.