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FA confirm replay stance

19 February 2007 04:47
The Football Association have rejected the idea of scrapping FA Cup replays to help ease fixture congestion. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger re-opened the debate on replays after his side's goalless draw with Blackburn Rovers at the weekend, saying: "The fixture congestion is a problem for us. "We have a dilemma in this country because one solution to the fixture congestion would be to stop replays, that would take things away from the tradition of the game in England, but there is no magical solution and it would involve a sacrifice. "I would be okay with it but many other managers would probably not agree with me. FA director of communications Adrian Bevington added on Monday: "There are no plans to abolish replays. "We are not aware of discussions that have taken place regarding this matter. Replays are part of the heritage and tradition that makes the FA Cup magical." Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had admitted that he could see Wenger's point, but felt that replays should be retained for the time being. He said after the 1-1 draw at home to Reading: "Arsene is speaking for teams like ourselves, who are committed to Europe. "It is a fair point, but I don't think it could apply to everyone. You cannot just take replays away. For some clubs it is part of their whole existence."

Source: ESA