Football Federation Australia will announce a brand new national competition for Australian football today, with a knock-out cup to begin in 2014.
Last year, the FFA agreed in principle to 2014 start for the competition, which will have a similar model to the FA Cup in England.
In what is the most exciting development in Australian football since the inception of the A-League, the announcement is one of the most anticipated in the history in the sport in this country.
CEO David Gallop is expected to front the announcement, along with former Blackburn and Sydney FC midfielder, the recently retired Brett Emerton.
The format will include professional sides as well as amateur sides from all around Australia, with the details still to be confirmed.
David Gallop has confirmed that the FFA Cup will commence in 2014, offering grassroots teams the opportunity to face off against the giants of Australian football.
Each state will hold internal competitions, beginning with around 600 clubs, to determine which teams quality for the FFA Cup Round of 32, kicking off in late July.
The 32-team knockout phase will consist of all 10 A-League teams (Wellington Phoenix will be included) and 22 lower tier qualifiers.
The allocation from each state is based on competition size and participation levels and will be as follows:
Football NSW – 7 Clubs
Football Federation Victoria – 4 Clubs
Football Queensland – 4 Clubs
Football West – 2 Clubs
NNSW Football – 2 Clubs
Capital Football – 1 Club
Football Federation SA – 1 Club
Football Federation Tasmania – 1 Club
*Northern Territory will participate in 2015 FFA Cup
Foxtel has come on board as the broadcast partner for this event and will cover a minimum of 10 matches, including all finals.
Matches are to be played on Tuesday nights in an effort to avoid any clashes with regular competitions. This scheduling also carries the long term goal of establishing Tuesday night as the night to watch FFA Cup.
In an effort to ensure the competition provides a genuine opportunity for grassroots teams, the FFA Cup draw is designed to see one Member Federation Club qualify for the Cup Semi-Final.
“We all grew up with the romance of the English FA Cup and well remember the history of upsets. I’m sure the FFA Cup will bring the same fascination to fans across Australia.” – David Gallop