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Sunak tells FA and Premier League bosses to explain axing of FA Cup replays

The PM waded into the row amid fears that smaller clubs could lose out from lucrative replays against bigger teams

THE STANDARD

Football chiefs were told by Rishi Sunak to “explain” their decision to scrap FA Cup replays and why it’s in “the interests of fans”.

The Prime Minister, a Southampton fan, intervened in the row amid fears that smaller clubs could lose out from lucrative replays against bigger teams.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “David and Goliath fixtures are a part of the magic of the cup and we know that replays have been a welcome source of income for smaller clubs throughout the years.

“These are however decisions for the footballing authorities.

“But clearly it’s incumbent on the FA and Premier League to explain this decision and why it’s in the interests of fans.”

The Football Association insists it “understands the concerns” of EFL clubs over the scrapping of FA Cup replays and will be sharing details with them on how new revenue will be generated.

The FA announced on Thursday that replays would be abolished from the first round onwards, sparking criticism from the EFL and its clubs over a lack of consultation.

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