The Football Association

The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of association football in England, the Crown dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in its territory.

The FA sanctions all competitive football matches within its remit at national level, and indirectly at local level through the County Football Associations. It runs numerous competitions, the most famous of which is the FA Cup. It is also responsible for appointing the management of the men's, women's, and youth national football teams.

The FA is a member of both UEFA and FIFA and holds a permanent seat on the International Football Association Board (IFAB) which is responsible for the Laws of the Game. As the first football association, it does not use the national name "English" in its title. The FA is based at Wembley Stadium, London. The FA is a member of the British Olympic Association, meaning that the FA has control over the men's and women's Great Britain Olympic football team.[1]

All of England's professional football teams are members of the Football Association. Although it does not run the day-to-day operations of the Premier League, it has veto power over the appointment of the League Chairman and Chief Executive and over any changes to league rules.[2] The English Football League, made up of the three fully professional divisions below the Premier League, is self-governing, subject to the FA's sanctions.

The Football Association
UEFA
FA crest 2009
Founded26 October 1863
HeadquartersEngland
FIFA affiliation
  • 1905–1920
  • 1924–1928
  • 1946–present
UEFA affiliation1954
IFAB affiliation1886
ChairmanGreg Clarke
Websitewww.thefa.com

History

For centuries before the first meeting of the Football Association in The Freemasons' Tavern on Great Queen Street, London on 26 October 1863, there were no universally accepted rules for playing football.[3][4] Six meetings near London's Covent Garden, at 81-82 Long Acre,[5] ended in a split between the Football Association and what would have become the future rugby ten years later.[6] Both of them had their own uniforms, rituals, gestures and highly formalised rules.[7]

In each public school the game was formalised according to local conditions; but when the schoolboys reached university, chaos ensued when the players used different rules, so members of the University of Cambridge devised and published a set of Cambridge Rules in 1848 which was widely adopted.[3] Another set of rules, the Sheffield Rules, was used by a number of clubs in the North of England from the 1850s.

Eleven London football clubs and schools representatives met on 26 October 1863 to agree on common rules.[3][4] The founding clubs present at the first meeting were Barnes, Civil Service, Crusaders, Forest of Leytonstone (later to become Wanderers F.C.), N.N. (No Names) Club (Kilburn), the original Crystal Palace, Blackheath, Kensington School, Perceval House (Blackheath), Surbiton and Blackheath Proprietary School; Charterhouse sent their captain, B.F. Hartshorne, but declined the offer to join.[8] Many of these clubs are now defunct or play rugby union. Civil Service FC, who now plays in the Southern Amateur League, is the only one of the original eleven football clubs still in existence and playing Association Football.[4] although Forest School has been a member since the fifth meeting in December 1863.

Central to the creation of the Football Association and modern football was Ebenezer Cobb Morley. He was a founding member of the Football Association in 1863. In 1862, as captain of Barnes, he wrote to Bell's Life newspaper proposing a governing body for the sport that led to the first meeting at The Freemasons' Tavern that created the FA.[4] He was the FA's first secretary (1863–66) and its second president (1867–74) and drafted the Laws of the Game generally called the "London Rules" at his home in Barnes, London. As a player, he played in the first-ever match in 1863.

Original laws of the game 1863
Photo of an early handwritten draft of the 'Laws of the game' for association Football drafted for and behalf of The Football Association by Ebenezer Cobb Morley in 1863 on display at the National Football Museum, Manchester.

The first version of the rules for the modern game was drawn up over a series of six meetings held in The Freemasons' Tavern from October till December.[4] Of the clubs at the first meeting, Crusaders, Surbiton and Charterhouse did not attend the subsequent meetings, replaced instead by the Royal Navy School, Wimbledon School and Forest School.[9] At the final meeting, F. M. Campbell, the first FA treasurer and the Blackheath representative, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting, the first which allowed for the running with the ball in hand and the second, obstructing such a run by hacking (kicking an opponent in the shins), tripping and holding. Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA but instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union.[3] The term "soccer" dates back to this split to refer to football played under the "association" rules. After six clubs had withdrawn as they supported the opposing Rugby Rules, the Football Association had just nine members in January 1864: Barnes, Kilburn, Crystal Palace, War Office (Civil Service), Forest Club, Forest School, Sheffield, Uppingham and Royal Engineers (Chatham).[10]

An inaugural game using the new FA rules was initially scheduled for Battersea Park on 2 January 1864, but enthusiastic members of the FA could not wait for the new year and an experimental game was played at Mortlake on 19 December 1863 between Morley's Barnes team and their neighbours Richmond (who were not members of the FA), ending in a goalless draw. The Richmond side were obviously unimpressed by the new rules in practice because they subsequently helped form the Rugby Football Union in 1871. The Battersea Park game was the first exhibition game using FA rules, and was played there on Saturday 2 January 1864. The members of the opposing teams for this game were chosen by the President of the FA (A. Pember) and the Secretary (E. C. Morley) and included many well-known footballers of the day.[11] After the first match according to the new FA rules a toast was given "Success to football, irrespective of class or creed".[12]

Another notable match was London v Sheffield, in which a representative team from the FA played Sheffield FC under Association rules in March 1866; Charles Alcock described this game as "first [match] of any importance under the auspices of the Football Association".[13] Alcock (of Harrow School) of the Wanderers was elected to the committee of the FA in 1866, becoming its first full-time secretary and treasurer in 1870. He masterminded the creation of the Football Association Cup[14]—the longest-running association football competition in the world—in 1871. Fifteen participating clubs subscribed to purchase a trophy. The very first Cup Final was held at The Oval on 16 March 1872, fought between the Wanderers and the Royal Engineers (RE), watched by 2,000 spectators.[4]

This competition was initially contested by mostly amateur teams but by the end of the 19th century it was dominated by professional teams that were mostly members of the Football League that had been founded in 1888 and expanded during the 1890s.

After many years of wrangling between the London Association and the Sheffield Football Association, the FA Cup brought the acceptance that one undisputed set of laws was required. The two associations had played 16 inter-association matches under differing rules; the Sheffield Rules, the London Rules and Mixed Rules. In April 1877, those laws were set with a number of Sheffield Rules being incorporated.

In 1992, the Football Association took control of the newly created Premier League which consisted of 22 clubs who had broken away from the First Division of the Football League. The Premier League reduced to 20 clubs in 1995 and is one of the richest football leagues in the world.[15]

The Football Association celebrated their 150th year by changing their logo. The new logo has retained the current logo's three lions but it would be in golden colour and also have "The FA" written above and also have "1863 150 years 2013" written below. It also has some writings of the laws of the game penned at the first meeting held at The Freemasons' Tavern.[16]

Women's football

By 1921 women's football had become increasingly popular through the charitable games played by women's teams during and after the First World War. In a move that was widely seen as caused by jealousy of the crowds' interest in women's games which frequently exceeded that of the top men's teams, the Football Association banned all women's teams from playing on grounds affiliated to the FA because football damaged women's bodies.[17][18]

For several decades this decision meant that women's football virtually ceased to exist. It only reversed from 1969 when, after the increased interest in football caused by England's 1966 World Cup triumph, the Women's Football Association was founded,[19] although it would take a further two years - and an order from UEFA - to force the (men's) Football Association to remove its restrictions on the playing rights of women's teams.[20] It was not until 1983 that the WFA was able to affiliate to the FA as a "County Association" and only in 1993 did the FA found the "Women's Football Committee" to run women's football in England.[21]

UK football sexual abuse scandal

In mid-November 2016, allegations of widespread historical sexual abuse at football clubs dating back to the 1970s began to emerge. On 21 November, the Football Association said it would set up a helpline;[22] this was established with the NSPCC and opened on 24 November,[23] reportedly receiving over 50 calls within the first two hours,[24] over 100 by 27 November,[25] and 860 ("more than three times as many referrals as in the first three days of the Jimmy Savile scandal") by 1 December[26] with 350 individuals alleging abuse.[27] The FA and NSPCC also collaborated to produce a film about how to keep children safe in the sport, featuring the captains of England's men's, women's and cerebral palsy football teams (Wayne Rooney, Steph Houghton and Jack Rutter).[28]

On 27 November, the FA announced it was to set up an internal review, led by independent counsel Kate Gallafent QC, into what Crewe and Manchester City knew about convicted paedophile Barry Bennell and allegations of child sexual abuse in football, and investigate what information it was aware of at the time of the alleged offences.[29]

The FA was criticised by Conservative MP Damian Collins, chair of the House of Commons' Culture, Media and Sport Committee, for being too slow in reacting and not instigating a wider review.[30] Former sport minister Gerry Sutcliffe talked of previous concern about how the FA dealt with governance of the sport and with youth development (in the 1990s, the FA was said to have reacted "dismissively" to worries about sexual abuse in the game, and too slow to implement criminal record checks;[31] in 2003, the FA had scrapped a project meant to ensure children were being protected from sexual abuse;[32] and FA officials had been uncooperative with the review project, with ten of 14 FA staff not replying to interview requests and a report by the researchers of others being "prevented/bullied" from talking).[33] Sutcliffe said an independent body, such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport should look at the issue rather than the FA investigating itself: "What I've seen in football over the years is that they're very narrow, very insular, and may not do a proper job even though with the right intentions."[34]

On 6 December 2016, the FA announced that, due to "the increased scope of the review since it was announced"[35] and Gallafent's other professional commitments, the review would be conducted by Clive Sheldon QC.[36] On 11 January 2017, the Sheldon review had made its first call for evidence, writing to all football clubs in England and Wales, amateur and professional, asking for information by 15 March about allegations of child sexual abuse between 1970 and 2005.[37] In March 2018, it was reported that the scale of evidence provided, plus the "chaotic nature of the archiving", had delayed the inquiry team's sift through the FA's legal files; around 500,000 pages of material from 6,000 files were uploaded to a digital platform, and 353 documents were identified as highly relevant. Sheldon expected to start writing his final report in August 2018.[38]

In July 2018, it was reported that the FA's independent inquiry had found no evidence of an institutional cover-up or of a paedophile ring operating within football. Sheldon's report, likely to be highly critical of several clubs, was initially expected to be delivered to the FA in September 2018,[39] but its publication was delayed, potentially by up to a year, pending the retrial of Bob Higgins and possible further charges against Barry Bennell.[40]

FA 2017 reform

Also in December 2016, five former FA executives - David Bernstein, David Davies, Greg Dyke, Alex Horne and David Triesman - called on Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee to propose legislation to reform the FA, saying it was outdated, held back by "elderly white men", and unable to counter the power of the Premier League or "to reform and modernise in a fast-changing world".[41]

In April 2017, it was announced that some reforms, including reducing the size of the FA's board and increasing the number of women, would be submitted for approval to the FA's annual general meeting on 18 May. However, the proposed changes were criticised by some for not going far enough, particularly to improve minority representation.[42] The proposals were approved at the AGM and include:[43]

  • Establishing three positions on the FA board for female members by 2018
  • Reducing the size of the board to 10 members
  • Adding 11 new members to the FA Council to "better reflects the inclusive and diverse nature of English football"
  • Limiting board membership to three terms of three years
  • Introducing term limits for FA Council members

However, pressure for FA reform continued fuelled by allegations of racism and bullying in relation to the Mark Sampson and Eniola Aluko cases, and the historical sexual abuse scandal.[44] In October 2017, FA chairman Greg Clarke announced a "fundamental" review of the FA after admitting it had "lost the trust of the public" following the Sampson controversy.[45] In the same month, Clarke was criticised by sexual abuse victim Andy Woodward and the Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive Gordon Taylor for remarks Clarke made to a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee hearing.[46][47][48]

Crown dependencies

The Football Associations within the Crown dependencies Jersey (Jersey Football Association), Guernsey (Guernsey Football Association) and the Isle of Man (Isle of Man Football Association) are affiliated to the FA despite having a separate identity from that of the United Kingdom and by extension England.[49] They are considered County Football Associations by the FA. Matt Le Tissier and Graeme Le Saux have represented the FA's full national representative team and were born in Guernsey and Jersey respectively.[50]

The Guernsey Football Association, Isle of Man Football Association and Jersey Football Association have been affiliated with the FA since 1903, 1908 and 1905 respectively.[51][52][53]

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar's Gibraltar Football Association was affiliated to the FA from 1911 until it opted to become a fully recognised member of UEFA, a feat achieved after a 14-year legal battle. Joseph Nunez, the Gibraltar FA President claimed they were "unilaterally thrown out" of the FA following an intervention from Geoff Thompson.[51]

A loophole was closed in May 2008 by FIFA which allowed players born in the Channel Islands to choose which nation belonging to the United Kingdom to represent at international level. During the 1990s, Trevor Wood (Jersey) and Chris Tardif (Guernsey) represented Northern Ireland.

Some of the other British Overseas Territories have local football associations or leagues (including the Anguilla Football Association, the Ascension Island Football League, the Bermuda Football Association, the British Virgin Islands Football Association, the Cayman Islands Football Association, the Falkland Islands Football League, the Montserrat Football Association, the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association), but these are not considered subsidiary to the Football Association. Although the British Overseas Territories are too small to support professional teams, they have produced players such as Clyde Best who have gone on to play professionally in the Football Association, and referees such as Carlyle Crockwell, who have refereed FIFA matches.

Relationship with FIFA

The Football Association first joined FIFA in 1905. The British Associations (England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) opted to leave FIFA after World War I when FIFA chose not to exclude those who were part of the Central Powers from the organisation. The British Associations' stance had changed by 1922 and in 1924 they had rejoined FIFA.[note 1]

The British Olympic Association had fought against 'broken time' - monetary compensation for athletes' earnings when competing in the Olympic games. At the 1925 Olympic Congress in Prague, the British had made an amendment that concluded governing federations should define amateur status for their sports but only in accordance with the definition of amateurism accepted by the Olympic Congress. In 1928, Switzerland proposed to FIFA that in certain circumstances, 'broken time' payments should be allowed and FIFA accepted. The FA resigned from FIFA in protest against the proposal. As a result of the FA's resignation, England did not participate in the 1930, 1934 or 1938 FIFA World Cup.

At the 1930 Olympic Congress in Berlin, Belgian delegates proposed that for each sport the definition of amateur status be left to its international federation. The BOA argued for a common definition of amateurism and argued that 'broken time' payments were against the Olympic ideal.

The FA rejoined FIFA in 1946 and participated in their first World Cup in 1950. One of the first actions of the Football Association was to request the expulsion of the German and Japanese national football associations for their countries' role in World War II. Germany and Japan were prevented from qualifying for the 1950 FIFA World Cup as a consequence. They were re-acquainted with FIFA in 1950 following a second request from Switzerland who had had a previous request rejected in 1948.

Finances

The FA's main commercial asset is its ownership of the rights to England internationals and the FA Cup. Broadcasting income remains the FA's largest revenue stream with both domestic and international broadcasting rights for England fixtures and the FA Cup tied up until at least 2021.

For the four seasons from 2008 to 2012, the FA secured £425 million from ITV and Setanta for England and FA Cup games domestic television rights, a 42% increase over the previous contract, and £145 million for overseas television rights, up 272% on the £39 million received for the previous four-year period.[54] However, during 2008–09 Setanta UK went into administration, which weakened the FA's cashflow position.

Turnover for the year ending 31 July 2016 was £370 million on which it made a profit after tax of £7 million. It has also made an investment of £125 million back into every level of Football in 2016. In July 2015 the FA announced plans to carry out a significant organisational restructure, in order to deliver considerable cost savings to invest in elite England teams, facilities and grassroots coaching.[55]

The FA's income does not include the turnover of English football clubs, which are independent businesses. As well as running its own operations the FA chooses five charities each year to which it gives financial support.[56][57]

During the last three years, the FA received £350,000 in fines from players over comments made on Twitter, the most recent fine being a £25,000 to Rio Ferdinand. The highest fine given during the last three years was a £90,000 fine to Ashley Cole in 2012 after calling the FA "a bunch of twats." The FA has been more and more strict on comments made by players on Twitter, as the FA has disciplined 121 players overall in the last three years.[58]

Competitions

The FA Cup Trophy
The FA Cup trophy used from 1992 to 2013

The FA also runs several competitions:

Principals

Prince William of Wales RAF
Prince William is the current President of the FA.

The FA has a figurehead President, who since 1939 has always been a member of the British Royal Family. The Chairman of the FA has overall responsibility for policy. Traditionally this person rose through the ranks of the FA's committee structure (e.g. by holding posts such as the chairmanship of a county football association). In 2008 politician David Triesman was appointed as the FA's first "independent chairman", the first from outside the football hierarchy. The day to day head of the FA was known as the Secretary until 1989, when the job title was changed to Chief Executive.

Office-holders
Office Name Tenure
President Arthur Pember 1863–1867
E.C. Morley 1867–1874
Francis Marindin 1874–1890
Lord Kinnaird 1890–1923
Sir Charles Clegg 1923–1937
William Pickford 1937–1939
The Earl of Athlone 1939–1955
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh 1955–1957
HRH the Duke of Gloucester 1957–1963
The Earl of Harewood 1963–1971
HRH the Duke of Kent 1971–2000
HRH the Duke of York 2000–2006
HRH the Duke of Cambridge 2006–present
Chairman Charles Clegg 1890–1937
A. G. Hines 1938
M. Frowde 1939–1941
Amos Brook Hirst 1941–1955
Arthur Drewry 1955–1961
Graham Doggart 1961–1963
Joe Mears 1963–1966
Andrew Stephen 1967–1976
Harold Thompson 1976–1981
Bert Millichip 1981–1996
Keith Wiseman 1996–1999
Geoff Thompson 1999–2008
David Triesman 2008–2010
David Bernstein 2011–2013
Greg Dyke 2013–2016
Greg Clarke 2016–present
Secretary E.C. Morley 1863–1866
R. W. Willis 1866–1868
R. G. Graham 1868–1870
Charles Alcock 1870–1895
Frederick Wall 1895–1934
Stanley Rous 1934–1962
Denis Follows 1962–1973
Ted Croker 1973–1989
Chief executive Graham Kelly 1989–1998
Adam Crozier 2000–2002
David Davies 2002–2003 (acting)
Mark Palios 2003–2004
David Davies 2004–2005 (acting)
Brian Barwick 2005–2008
Ian Watmore 2009–2010
Alex Horne 2010–2010 (acting)
Martin Glenn 2015–present
General Secretary Alex Horne 2010–present
Executive Director David Davies 1998–2000

Board of directors

Taken from The FA's website on 29 September 2017[60]

National Game representatives:

  • Robert Cotter
  • Mervyn Leggett
  • Jack Pearce

Professional Game representatives:

  • Peter McCormick (OBE)
  • Jim Rodwell

Independent Non-Executive directors:

  • Roger Devlin

Note

  1. ^ Ireland had since been partitioned. Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom, the Irish Free State was independent of Britain. The latter is now the Republic of Ireland.

References

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External links

Media related to The Football Association at Wikimedia Commons

2008–09 FA Cup

The 2008–09 FA Cup (known as The FA Cup sponsored by E.ON for sponsorship reasons) was the 128th season of the world's oldest football knockout competition; the FA Cup. A record 762 clubs were accepted for the competition; one club, South Normanton Athletic, folded before the fixtures were released, leaving 761 clubs to appear in the draw. Two more clubs, Brierley Hill & Withymoor and Stapenhill, folded after the draws for the early rounds were made, giving their opponents a walk-over.

The competition started on 16 August 2008 with the Extra Preliminary Round and concluded on 30 May 2009 with the Final, held at Wembley Stadium. Because winners Chelsea qualified for the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League by finishing 3rd in the 2008–09 Premier League, losing finalists Everton qualified for the play-off round of the 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. Because Everton also happened to qualify for a Europa League berth by finishing 5th in the Premier League, that berth was awarded to the 6th place team (Aston Villa), whose berth (which was available because 2009–10 Football League Cup winners Manchester United qualified for the Champions League as Premier League winners) was in turn awarded to the 7th place team (Fulham).

This season's competition saw the beginning of a new television contract for the tournament, with ITV and Setanta Sports taking over the domestic rights from the BBC and Sky Sports.

Albanian Football Association

The Albanian Football Association (Albanian: Federata Shqiptare e Futbollit; FSHF) is the governing body of football in Albania. The association is based in Tirana, Albania. The association organizes the national football leagues of the Albanian Superliga, the First Division, the Second Division, the Third Division, the Albanian Cup and Supercup. Albania women's national football team, Albanian women's football championship, and the Albanian Women's Cup are also overseen. The association also coordinates the activities of the Albania national football team and the Albania national youth football teams such as Under-21, Under-20, Under-19, Under-18, Under-17, Under-16 and Under-15.

Confederation of Independent Football Associations

The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) is the international governing body for non-FIFA affiliated associations of Association Football. Currently, CONIFA is responsible for the organization of the ConIFA World Football Cup and the CONIFA European Football Cup.

England national under-16 football team

England national under-16 football team, also known as England under-16s or England U16(s), represents England in association football at an under-16 age level and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England.

In July 2015, Dan Micciche was appointed to coach the squad with assistance from Paul Williams. Players born on or after 1 January 2003 will remain eligible until the end of the 2018–19 season.

England national under-17 football team

The England national under-17 football team, also known as England under-17s or England U17(s), represents England in football at an under-17 age level and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England.

In July 2015, Steve Cooper was appointed to coach the squad with assistance from Mike Marsh.

England national under-18 football team

England national under-18 football team, also known as England under-18s or England U18(s), represents England in association football at under-18 age level and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England. The team is coached by Neil Dewsnip.The team competed in the FIFA International Youth Tournament (later taken over by UEFA) and its successor, the UEFA European Under-18 Championship, and was often referred to as England Youth. They won the International Youth Tournament seven times, including the first contest in 1948, and four times in five years in the 1970s. After the tournament was renamed to the European Under-18 Championship, England won twice more, in 1980 and 1993. In 2001, eligibility rules changed and the competition was rebranded as the UEFA European Under-19 Championship.

Nowadays, the under-18 banner is used for participation in international friendlies. The 2017 Toulon Tournament was also composed largely of under-18 players.

England national under-20 football team

England national under-20 football team, also known as England Under-20s or England U20(s), represents England in association football at an under-20 age level and is controlled by the Football Association, the governing body for football in England.

England are the reigning champions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, after defeating Venezuela in the final of the 2017 tournament. Since the 2017–18 season, England contest the Under 20 Elite League.

The team is currently coached by Paul Simpson.

England women's national football team

The England women's national football team has been governed by the Football Association (FA) since 1993, having been previously administered by the Women's Football Association (WFA). England played its first international match in November 1972 against Scotland. Although most national football teams represent a sovereign state, as a member of the United Kingdom's Home Nations, England is permitted by FIFA statutes to maintain its own national side that competes in all major tournaments, with the exception of the Women's Olympic Football Tournament.

England have qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup four times, reaching the quarter-final stage on the first three occasions in 1995, 2007, and 2011, and finishing third in 2015. They reached the final of the UEFA Women's Championship in 1984 and 2009.

FA Community Shield

The Football Association Community Shield (formerly the Charity Shield) is English football's annual match contested between the champions of the previous Premier League season and the holders of the FA Cup at Wembley Stadium. If the Premier League champions also won the FA Cup then the league runners-up provide the opposition. The fixture is recognised as a competitive super cup by the Football Association.Organised by the FA, proceeds from the game are distributed to community-based initiatives and charities around the country. Revenue from the gate receipts and match programme sales is distributed to the 124 clubs who competed in The FA Cup from the First Round onwards, for onward distribution to charities and projects of their choice, while the remainder is distributed to the FA's national charity partners. The fixture was first played in the 1908–09 season, replacing the Sheriff of London Charity Shield.

The current holders are Manchester City, who defeated Chelsea 2–0 in the 2018 match.

FA Cup

The FA Cup, also known officially as The Football Association Challenge Cup, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. First played during the 1871–72 season, it is the oldest national football competition in the world. It is organised by and named after The Football Association (The FA). For sponsorship reasons, from 2015 through to 2019 it is also known as The Emirates FA Cup. A concurrent women's tournament is also held, the FA Women's Cup.

The competition is open to any eligible club down to Level 10 of the English football league system – all 92 professional clubs in the Premier League (Level 1) and the English Football League (Levels 2 to 4), and several hundred "non-league" teams in Steps 1 to 6 of the National League System (Levels 5 to 10). A record 763 clubs competed in 2011–12. The tournament consists of 12 randomly drawn rounds followed by the semi-finals and the final. Entrants are not seeded, although a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in later rounds – the minimum number of games needed to win, depending on which round a team enters the competition, ranges from six to fourteen.

The first six rounds are the Qualifying Competition, from which 32 teams progress to the first round of the Competition Proper, meeting the first of the 48 professional teams from Leagues One and Two. The last entrants are the Premier League and Championship clubs, into the draw for the Third Round Proper. In the modern era, only one non-league team has ever reached the quarter-finals, and teams below Level 2 have never reached the final. As a result, significant focus is given to those "minnows" (smaller teams) who progress furthest, especially if they achieve an unlikely "giant-killing" victory.

Winners receive the FA Cup trophy, of which there have been two designs and five actual cups; the latest is a 2014 replica of the second design, introduced in 1911. Winners also qualify for the Europa League and a place in the FA Community Shield match. Chelsea are the current holders, having beaten Manchester United 1–0 in the 2018 final. Arsenal are the most successful club with 13 titles. Arsène Wenger is the most successful manager in the history of the competition, having won seven finals as manager of Arsenal.

FA Cup Final

The FA Cup Final, commonly referred to in England as just the Cup Final, is the last match in the Football Association Challenge Cup. It is one of the most attended domestic football events in the world, with an official attendance of 89,472 at the 2017 final. The match is the culmination of a knockout competition among clubs belonging to The Football Association in England, although Scottish and Irish teams competed in the early years and Welsh teams regularly compete, with Cardiff City winning the Cup in 1927 and reaching the final in 1925 and 2008.

As of 2018, 137 FA Cup Finals have been played. The latest final was held on 19 May 2018 at Wembley Stadium and was contested between Manchester United and Chelsea, with Chelsea winning 1–0.

FA Vase

The Football Association Challenge Vase, usually referred to as the FA Vase, is an annual football competition for teams playing below Step 4 of the English National League System (or equivalently, below tier 8 of the overall English football league system). For the 2017–18 season 619 entrants were accepted, with two qualifying rounds preceding the six proper rounds, semi-finals (played over two legs) and final to be played at Wembley Stadium.

The 2018 winners were Thatcham Town, who beat Stockton Town 1–0 at Wembley Stadium.

FA Women's Super League

The Football Association Women's Super League (FA WSL) is the highest league of women's football in England. It is run by the Football Association and began in April 2011. An initial eight teams competed in the inaugural 2011 edition, which replaced the FA Women's Premier League as the highest level of women's football in England.

Between 2014 and 2018, FA WSL consisted of two divisions–WSL 1 and WSL 2–and brought promotion and relegation system to the league. Since the 2018–19 season, FA WSL 2 is now known as the FA Women's Championship and remains the second division in the English women's football pyramid. WSL has operated as a summer league running from March until October, from its creation until the end of the 2016 season. From autumn 2017, the league operates as a winter league from September to May, with a one-off shortened bridging season, known as the FA WSL Spring Series, held between February and May 2017. The WSL champions and runners-up qualify for the UEFA Women's Champions League the following season. The current FA Women's Super League champions are Chelsea, who won the 2017–18 edition.

Football Association of Montenegro

The Football Association of Montenegro (Montenegrin: Fudbalski savez Crne Gore, FSCG / Фудбалски савез Црне Горе, ФСЦГ) is the governing body of football in Montenegro. It is based in the capital, Podgorica.

The FSCG organises the Montenegrin First, Second and Third Leagues, which between them contain 45 clubs. It also organises the Montenegrin Women's League and the men's and women's Montenegrin Cups, as well as the Montenegro national football team and the Montenegro national under-21 football team.

The FSCG was established in 1931 as a sub-association within the Football Association of Yugoslavia. From 2003 until Montenegro declared independence in 2006, the FSCG was a sub-association within the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. It became a UEFA member in its own right in January 2007, and a FIFA member in May 2007.

Former player Dejan Savićević has served as the FSCG's president since 2004.

Football Association of Serbia

The Football Association of Serbia (Serbian: Фудбалски савез Србије, ФСС / Fudbalski savez Srbije, FSS) is the governing body of football in Serbia, based in Belgrade. It organizes Serbian football leagues, namely the Serbian Superliga, the Serbia national football team, as well as the Second Leagues.

FSS was part of the Football Association of Yugoslavia, which was founded in 1919 in Zagreb then the new Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. It was established as Football Association of Serbia in 2006 after the split of Montenegro and Serbia as two different independent countries. Javier Clemente was appointed the first ever coach of the Serbia national football team. The current head coach is Mladen Krstajić.

Football Association of Thailand

The Football Association of Thailand (FAT) or the full name is the Football Association of Thailand under Patronage of His Majesty the King (Thai: สมาคมกีฬาฟุตบอลแห่งประเทศไทย ในพระบรมราชูปถัมภ์) is the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer in Thailand. It was founded on 25 April 1916. They joined FIFA on 23 June 1925 and AFC in 1954.

Irish Football Association

The Irish Football Association (IFA) is the governing body for association football in Northern Ireland. It organised the Ireland national football team which, after 1921, became the Northern Ireland national football team.

List of FA Cup Finals

The Football Association Challenge Cup, commonly known as the FA Cup, is a knockout competition in English football, organised by and named after The Football Association (the FA). It is the oldest existing football competition in the world, having commenced in the 1871–72 season. The tournament is open to all clubs in the top 10 levels of the English football league system, although a club's home stadium must meet certain requirements prior to entering the tournament. The competition culminates at the end of the league season (usually in May) with the FA Cup Final, officially named The Football Association Challenge Cup Final Tie, which has traditionally been regarded as the showpiece finale of the English football season.The vast majority of FA Cup Final matches have been in London: most of these were played at the original Wembley Stadium, which was used from 1923 until the stadium closed in 2000. The other venues used for the final before 1923 were Kennington Oval, Crystal Palace, Stamford Bridge and Lillie Bridge, all in London, Goodison Park in Liverpool and Fallowfield Stadium and Old Trafford in Manchester. The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff hosted the final for six years (2001–2006), while the new Wembley Stadium was under construction. Other grounds have been used for replays, which until 1999 took place if the initial match ended in a draw. The new Wembley Stadium has been the permanent venue of the final since 2007.

As of 2018, the record for the most wins is held by Arsenal with 13 victories. The cup has been won by the same team in two or more consecutive years on ten occasions, and four teams have won consecutive finals more than once: Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal. The cup has been won by a non-English team once. The cup is currently held by Chelsea, who defeated Manchester United in the 2018 final.

Norwegian Football Federation

The Norwegian Football Federation (Norwegian: Norges Fotballforbund; NFF) is the governing body of football in Norway. It was formed in 1902 and organises the men's and women's national teams, as well as the league systems for men and women (whose top levels are respectively the Eliteserien and Toppserien). The current president of NFF is Terje Svendsen. By 1 January 2004, there were 1,814 clubs organized in Norway and 373,532 registered players. It is the largest sports federation in Norway.

The NFF joined FIFA in 1908, and UEFA in 1954.

The NFF was part of an unsuccessful joint bid with the SvFF, the DBU and the SPL to host the UEFA Euro 2008 championship. The SvFF invited the NFF to join them in bidding for the UEFA Euro 2016 championship. The NFF and Norwegian politicians expressed support for such a proposal, but Euro 2018 was eventually awarded to France.

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