SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia plans to launch a new knockout football competition modelled on England’s FA Cup next year involving the top flight A-League teams as well as amateur and semi-professional clubs, Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Thursday.
The first FFA Cup final will take place in December 2014 providing commercial arrangements can be finalised in time for the competition’s launch.
“The idea of the FFA Cup has captured the imagination of the football community and there’s a huge groundswell of support,” FFA chief David Gallop said in a news release.
“Everyone in the game is keen for this concept to come to life, but the prudent way forward is to ensure the right commercial and organisational foundations are in place.”
The FA Cup, started in 1871, is the world’s first football competition and involves more than 700 teams from village clubs to Premier League outfits joining the draw at various stages.
The FFA Cup will emulate this progressive involvement but, given the huge distances involved in travelling around Australia, the early rounds may be played on a regional basis.
In keeping with the other major football codes in Australia, the A-League title is already decided by a knockout tournament with the top six teams in the final regular season standings taking part in a playoff series.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; editing by Ian Ransom