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Saturday, June 26, 1999 Published at 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK

Sport: Football

Sir Alex looking for FA Cup bye

Sir Alex Ferguson wants the FA to give his side a bye

Sir Alex Ferguson believes that his Manchester United team should be allowed a bye in next season's FA Cup.

The Old Trafford manager believes the favour is necessary for his side to compete in the World Team Championship in Brazil.

The Football Association have asked United to take part in the prestigious tournament which will be held in Rio in January, the same time as the third round of the Cup.

"We are looking at ways to ease our fixture congestion if we take part in the Brazilian tournament and one obvious solution would be for the FA to allow us to enter the FA Cup at a later stage next season," Ferguson told the Manchester Evening News.

"We want to help the country by taking part in this event but not if that leaves us with an impossible burden in fulfilling our domestic programme with any degree of success."

Ferguson believes competing in Brazil would help England's bid to stage the 2006 World Cup.

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