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Page last updated at 22:01 GMT, Saturday, 24 January 2009

FA to review old Cup replay rule

Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson was unhappy he had reportedly wanted to exploit the rule

The Football Association is to review a little-known rule that allows clubs playing in the FA Cup to avoid replays if the first tie ends in a draw.

Article 11a allows teams to agree to play for an extra half-an-hour to settle the match and avoid a replay.

"The rule exists to help smaller clubs in the preliminary rounds settle a tie so they can avoid lengthy journeys or suffer financial costs," said the FA.

"The FA are considering it and the Cup committee will be looking into it."

606: DEBATE

An FA spokesman said the governing body could insert the words "preliminary competition" into the rule to ensure smaller clubs could still use it.

Prior to Manchester United's fourth-round win over Tottenham on Saturday, there had been speculation manager Sir Alex Ferguson had considered invoking the rule.

But after the 2-1 win at Old Trafford, United issued a statement saying the thought had never crossed Ferguson's mind.

"The club has never asked opponents to play extra time instead of a replay - and has no intention of ever doing so," said the United statement.

"The manager's comments do not state that he either wished to or intended to invoke the rule. He made clear he knows the value of replays to clubs."

In 2000 United, who have won the competition a record 11 times, were heavily criticised for failing to defend the trophy when they took part in the Fifa Club World Championship in Brazil.



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see also
Man Utd 2-1 Tottenham
24 Jan 09 |  FA Cup
Man Utd lose two more to injury
24 Jan 09 |  Man Utd


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