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Calling all football fans out there! The Football Association Challenge Cup, shortly called the FA Cup, is an exciting event for English football lovers all across the United Kingdom and overseas. Founded in the 19th century, the FA Cup is the oldest association football competition in the world. It gained popularity immediately from the very first season of 1871-1872 and has successfully maintained it over the years.

The season of the FA Cup starts in August and ends in May with the domestic English teams competing for the prestigious title. The FA cup welcomes teams of every level: it doesn’t matter whether a club plays in the Premier League, the EFL Championship, or it is a little-known ‘non-league’ team, it gets a chance to enter the competition regardless. The diversity of teams is what makes the FA Cup charming.

Arsenal and Manchester United are the leading clubs in terms of the championships won. Will it be your team to be crowned champions at Wembley Stadium this year? Don’t miss out and watch the FA Cup matches all the way from the first to the final whistle. You can stream FA Cup games on BBC One (UK), BT Sport (UK) and Fox Sports Go (U.S.). Away from the country? Get NordVPN and stream sports from anywhere on Earth – well, except Antarctica.

A few interesting facts about the FA Cup

Giant-killings. It’s not only the long-term football tradition the FA Cup is famous for. Unexpected sensations of a low-ranked team winning against a top team from the Premier League, known as giant-killings, is what fans truly anticipate. In the history of the FA Cup, there have been many teams slipping in matches expected to end smoothly with a victory. If we were to count, it seems that Liverpool has suffered more giant-killings than any other team from the Premier League. Since 1992, Liverpool has won the champions title twice; however, 8 giant-killings have got in their way: Bolton Wanderers, Bristol City, Blackburn Rovers, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Barnsley, Reading and Oldham Athletic have managed to defeat the Reds when no one was expecting.

Trophies. The current trophy awarded to the winner of the FA Cup final is already the fifth version of the original. The first trophy, created for the inaugural season of 1871-1872, was gone forever after only 24 years of use: after being won by Aston Villa, the trophy was stolen from a store window in 1895 and never found. It was replaced with an exact replica, which was later given as a gift to Lord Kinnaird, the president of the FA, in 1910. Then, a larger trophy was created by the famous jewelers Fattorini and Sons of Bradford. Surprisingly, the Bradford City were the ones to win the competition that year and were the first ones to hoist the redesigned trophy. It was used until 1992, when it was replaced with an identical replica, as the original trophy was considered to be too fragile for further use.

The current trophy was introduced in 2014. It was made heavier with the intention to serve longer. Following the tradition, ribbons of both playing teams are attached to the trophy during the final game. When the result is known, ribbons of the team that lost are taken off so the trophy is ready to be handed over to the champions.



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