The FA Cup (Football Association Challenge Cup) is a domestic football competition that involves football teams from England competing against each other in a knockout phase.

The FA Cup is the oldest football tournament in the history of football. The contest is run by The Football Association (The FA). The competition first happened in 1871-72, and the first-ever FA Cup champion is Wanderers. They defeated Royal Engineers to claim the FA Cup trophy.

The FA Cup consists of 12 preliminary rounds whereby teams are randomly drawn. The four surviving teams then go head to head in the semi-finals. The winner of the final is awarded the FA Cup trophy.

History of the FA Cup

The origin of the FA Cup dates back to 1871, whereby all football teams that formed part of the English football league system comes together in a single competition. The FA Cup officially started in November 1871.

Football teams around England competed against one another, whereby the winner advanced to the next round. The final of the tournament’s first edition took place on March 6, 1872. Wanderers won the first FA Cup trophy, and they went on to defend their title the following year.

The FA Cup is accessible to any football team down to level 10 of the English football pyramid. As of 2021, five football clubs from Wales are eligible to take part in the tournament. The names of the football teams are Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County, Wrexham, and Merthyr Town.

A prerequisite for teams participating in the FA Cup is possessing a home ground. The FA Cup is the last football competition played in England. The tournament acts as the final act of the English football season.

The FA Cup Format and Draw

The format of the FA Cup is such that teams are drawn against one another in a random draw. The FA Cup draw is shown live on television across the UK and will determine which team will play at home. The winner of each game advance to the next round of the competition.

Elite football teams such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and so on enter the tournament during the third round. The third round of the FA Cup usually starts in January.

If a football match ends in a draw, there is a replay. If the score after the reply is not enough to separate the two teams, then a penalty shootout decides on the outcome of the fixture.

Both the semi-finals and the final of the FA Cup take place at a neutral venue. The winner of the FA Cup is guaranteed a play in next year’s UEFA Europa League competition. Let us have a look at the different winners of the FA Cup since its inception.

FA Cup Winners

Since the formation of the FA Cup, there have been many winners. The beauty of this tournament is that it allows players from different football leagues to compete against one another. The FA Cup provides an opportunity for low-tier teams to compete against football elites.

Football clubs from low-tier divisions have often been declared as FA Cup winners. Until 2021, there have been 140 FA Cup finals. Some football clubs have won the FA Cup trophy multiple times, while few have won it only once.

Below is a table displaying the FA Cup winners list. In addition, the table shows the results of the FA Cup finals.

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FA Cup Standings

The FA Cup standings refer to the number of times any particular football team claimed the prestigious competition. As of 2021, the FA Cup table is led by Arsenal FC. The Gunners have won the famous trophy for a record 14 times.

Manchester United previously led the FA Cup standings. However, between 2010-2021, Arsenal won the trophy four times, overtaking the Red Devils in the FA Cup table.

Below is a detailed FA Cup table showing the number of times each team won the competition.

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Arsenal currently leads the FA Cup standings, followed by Manchester United. The Red Devils have 12 FA Cup trophies, while Chelsea and Tottenham have eight winners medals each. Liverpool and Aston Villa have seven FA Cup awards.

FA Cup Prize Money

Teams participating in the FA Cup are rewarded with prize money as they advance to the different stages of the competition. The higher the position achieved by the club in the competition, the more money they win. Besides, prize money is also awarded to the losing teams.

Below is a detailed breakdown of the prize money for the 2021-22 FA Cup tournament. However, the prize money changes each year.

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How to Watch the FA Cup

The FA Cup competition is broadcasted on television. Besides, you may also want to watch your favorite team play live. So book a match ticket and enjoy the game.

The FA Cup final usually takes place at the Wembley Stadium. Wembley is known for hosting huge football events. So there is no better feeling than a visit to the famous turf for a final act.


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  • Date accessed: October 16, 2021. Wikipedia. List of FA Cup finals: