Long Awaited Australian Cup Competition To Start In 2014, Modeled After FA Cup
Queensland's "proposed new knockout cup competition will act as the state's feeder to next year's long-awaited" Football Federation Australia Cup, according to Marco Monteverde of the COURIER-MAIL. FFA CEO David Gallop Thursday announced that "the FFA Cup would start in 2014 -- provided a sponsor and broadcast partner are secured." However, the fact that FFA made the announcement "suggests that sponsorship and TV deals are all but finalised." Gallop: "The idea of the FFA Cup has captured the imagination of the football community and there’s a huge groundswell of support" (COURIER-MAIL, 8/30). REUTERS reported the competition is modeled after England's FA Cup "involving the top flight A-League teams as well as amateur and semi-professional clubs." The FA Cup, started in 1871, is the world's first football competition and "involves more than 700 teams from village clubs to Premier League outfits joining the draw at various stages." The FFA Cup "will emulate this progressive involvement but, given the huge distances involved in travelling around Australia, the early rounds may be played on a regional basis" (REUTERS, 8/29).
QUALIFYING TALK: In Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported local association clubs "can qualify for next year's competition through existing regional and state competitions," such as the Waratah Cup in New South Wales. Semi-pro clubs "will enter the tournament in progressive stages due to a seeding system, with the 10 A-League clubs earmarked to be introduced at the round-of-32 stage." The final composition of the other 22 teams "will likely be formed on a pro-rata basis reflecting the number of registered players and clubs of each state and territory, with NSW and Victoria set to be the most represented members" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/30). In Canberra, Lee Gaskin reported with Canberra having missed out on an A-League team, Capital Football CEO Heather Reid said that "it was important the region's elite players could be exposed to top-level football." Reid: "It's another opportunity for our men's clubs. We're working with the FFA to promote these additional opportunities, especially in the absence of an A-League or an NYL (National Youth League) team, entry is really important from our point of view" (CANBERRA TIMES, 8/30).