The 2021–22 FA Cup was the 141st season and marks the 150th anniversary of the first Football Association Challenge Cup, the oldest football tournament in the world, started in the 1871–72 season. It was sponsored by Emirates and was known as the Emirates FA Cup for sponsorship purposes. The winners qualified for the 2022–23 UEFA Europa League group stage.
Liverpool beat the two-time defending runners-up Chelsea on penalties in the final to win their 8th FA Cup overall and first since 2006.2 This was the fifth FA Cup final that has gone to extra time, with Chelsea becoming the first team to lose three consecutive finals.3
The FA Cup is a knockout competition with 124 teams taking part (excluding those eliminated in the qualifying rounds) all trying to reach the Final at Wembley in May 2022. The competitors consist of the 92 teams from the Football League system (20 teams from the Premier League and the 72 in total from the EFL Championship, EFL League One and EFL League Two) plus the 32 surviving teams out of 637 teams from the National League System (levels 5–10 of the English football league system) that started the competition in qualifying rounds.4
All rounds are drawn randomly, usually either at the completion of the previous round or on the evening of the last televised game of a round being played, depending on television broadcasting rights.
|Round||Main date||Number of fixtures||Clubs remaining||New entries this round||Winner prize money||Loser prize money||Divisions entering this round|
|First Round Proper||Saturday 6 November 2021||40||124 → 84||48||£22,629||None||24 EFL League One teams 24 EFL League Two teams|
|Second Round Proper||Saturday 4 December 2021||20||84 → 64||None||£32,000||None||None|
|Third Round Proper||Saturday 8 January 2022||32||64 → 32||44||£82,000||None||20 Premier League teams 24 EFL Championship teams|
|Fourth Round Proper||Saturday 5 February 2022||16||32 → 16||None||£90,000||None||None|
|Fifth Round Proper||Wednesday 2 March 2022||8||16 → 8||None||£180,000||None||None|
|Quarter-Finals||Saturday 19 March 2022||4||8 → 4||None||£360,000||None||None|
|Semi-Finals||Saturday 16 April 2022||2||4 → 2||None||£900,000||£450,000||None|
|Final||Saturday 14 May 2022||1||2 → 1||None||£1,800,000||£900,000||None|
Teams that are not members of either the Premier League or English Football League competed in the qualifying rounds to secure one of 32 available places in the First Round Proper. The six-round qualifying competition began with the Extra Preliminary Round on 6 August 2021.
The first round saw the 32 winners from the fourth qualifying round joined by the 48 clubs from League One and League Two. The draw was held on 17 October 2021 at Wembley Stadium, and was done by Kelly Smith and Wes Morgan. The lowest-ranked team in the first round were AFC Sudbury of the eighth-tier Isthmian League North Division.
The second round featured the 40 winners from the first round. The draw was held on 8 November 2021 at Wembley Stadium, and was done by Shaun Wright-Phillips and Rachel Yankey. The lowest-ranked team in the second round were Buxton of the seventh-tier Northern Premier League Premier Division.
The third round featured all 44 clubs across the Premier League and the Championship, who entered the competition in this round, along with the 20 winners from the second round. The draw was held on 6 December 2021 at Wembley Stadium, and was done by David Seaman and Faye White.5 The lowest-ranked team in the third round were Kidderminster Harriers of the sixth-tier National League North. To avoid possible fixture congestion caused by postponements to league matches due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, matches from this round onwards are decided on the day, with extra time and penalties used if necessary.6
The draw for the fourth round was held on 9 January 2022 at Wembley Stadium, and was done by David James and Leah Williamson.7 The lowest-ranked team in the fourth round were Kidderminster Harriers of the sixth-tier National League North.8
The draw for the fifth round was held on 6 February 2022 at Wembley Stadium, and was done by Andy Cole.9 The matches were played during the week commencing Monday 28 February 2022.10 The lowest-ranked team in the fifth round were Boreham Wood of the fifth-tier National League.
The draw was held on 3 March 2022 at Wembley Stadium, and was conducted by England national football team manager Gareth Southgate.11 The lowest-ranked teams in the quarter-finals were Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, both of the second-tier EFL Championship.1213
On 15 March, Chelsea requested to play their game against Middlesbrough behind closed doors, due to them being unable to sell any more than the season tickets and 500–600 regular tickets sold before 10 March, after the Russian owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK over his links to Vladimir Putin. This would have meant no one would be able to attend, including Middlesbrough fans whose tickets already had sold out. Chelsea's request was withdrawn the same day under criticism from the FA and Middlesbrough.14
|First Round Proper16||AFC Sudbury v Colchester United St Albans City v Forest Green Rovers Stockport County v Bolton Wanderers (replay)||Banbury United v Barrow Sheffield Wednesday v Plymouth Argyle Stratford Town v Shrewsbury Town Dagenham & Redbridge v Salford City Solihull Moors v Wigan Athletic (replay)||None|
|Second Round||Buxton v Morecambe Yeovil Town v Stevenage||Gateshead v Charlton Athletic Rochdale v Plymouth Argyle Salford City v Chesterfield Boreham Wood v St Albans City Barrow v Ipswich Town (replay)||None|
|Third Round17||Hull City v Everton Swansea City vs Southampton (BBC Wales) Chelsea v Chesterfield (red button) Yeovil Town v Bournemouth (red button) Manchester United v Aston Villa||Swindon Town v Manchester City Millwall v Crystal Palace West Ham United v Leeds United Nottingham Forest v Arsenal||Cardiff City v Preston North End|
|Fourth Round||Kidderminster Harriers v West Ham United Chelsea v Plymouth Argyle (red button) Cambridge United v Luton Town (red button) Nottingham Forest v Leicester City||Manchester United v Middlesbrough Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion Liverpool v Cardiff City Bournemouth v Boreham Wood||None|
|Fifth Round18||Crystal Palace v Stoke City (red button) Middlesbrough v Tottenham Hotspur Luton Town v Chelsea Southampton v West Ham United (red button)||Peterborough United v Manchester City Liverpool v Norwich City Everton v Boreham Wood Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield Town||None|
|Quarter-finals19||Middlesbrough v Chelsea Southampton v Manchester City||Crystal Palace v Everton Nottingham Forest v Liverpool||None|
|Semi-finals||Manchester City v Liverpool||Chelsea v Crystal Palace||None|
Broadcast partners for other countries can be found on the FA's website.
Original source: 2021–22 fa cup. Shared with Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License
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