The 2023 FA Cup Final
Saturday, June 3, 2023

The FA Cup, also known as the Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men’s domestic English football. First held in 1871, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. The tournament is open to teams from the English football league system, including professional, semi-professional, and amateur clubs. This open structure allows for the possibility of lower-league teams facing off against top-tier clubs, which can result in exciting, unpredictable matches known as “giant-killings.”


The 2023 FA Cup homepage.

Briggs & Riley Travel Duffel Bag
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The Travel Duffel Bag in Olive.

The Format

The competition starts with a series of qualifying rounds in which smaller, non-league clubs compete for a chance to enter the main tournament. After the qualifying rounds, 32 non-league clubs join the 48 clubs from League One and League Two (the third and fourth tiers of English football) in the first round proper. In the second round, the 40 winners from the first round face each other. The 20 winners from the second round then advance to the third round, where they are joined by the 44 clubs from the Premier League (top tier) and the Championship (second tier). From then on, the tournament proceeds in a knockout format, each round consisting of a single match.

If a match ends in a draw, a replay is held at the away team's stadium, with extra time and penalties used to determine a winner if necessary. Replays have been removed for the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals since the 2016-17 season, with extra time and penalties being used in the initial match to decide the outcome.

The semifinals are typically held at a neutral venue, often Wembley Stadium in London. The final, known as the FA Cup Final, is also held at Wembley Stadium and is one of the most anticipated matches in the English football calendar. The winner of the FA Cup earns a spot in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League unless they have already qualified for European competition through their league position, in which case the spot goes to the next highest-placed team in the Premier League not already qualified for Europe.

The Venue: Wembley Stadium


Wembley Stadium is the host venue for the 2023 FA Cup. Image Source: Wembley Stadium

The Map: Wembley Stadium