The English Football Association Challenge Cup, usually referred to as the FA Cup, is the oldest club knockout competition in the world. The competition is run by the English Football Association and there are separate competitions for men’s and woman’s football.
The FA Cup can trace its origins back to the 1871 season when it was first introduced. The competition has never changed its format and is open to all teams in from the top flight through the football league and including the non-league pyramid system teams. As such, all clubs from the professional to the amateur can compete.
The competition has great affection from the fans and giant killings are famous, this is where a relative minnow club take on and defeat a much larger (and higher up the league systems) opponent. This can lead to very financially lucrative matches for the smaller teams against larger opponents.
However, the lower division teams rarely make it to the later stages of the competition but it is not unheard of for a lower league to get to the quarter and even semi-finals. The only non-league team to win the FA Cup was Tottenham Hotspur Football Club back in 1901.
A massive worldwide audience tune in to the FA Cup final each year and the cup holds many tales of near misses and giant killings from almost every club down the ages. The romance of the cup, as it is referred to, till holds the fans attention even if a club is facing relegation from a division.