For the first time in FFA Cup history, a Round of 32 match will take place on a weekend, with a mouth-watering encounter between the historic and former powerhouse National Soccer League (NSL) club South Melbourne FC (VIC), hosting A-League Premiers & Champions Melbourne City FC at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday, 29 August.
The highly anticipated clash between another former powerhouse NSL club, Sydney Olympic (NSW), and A-League giants Sydney FC is another fixture that is yet to be scheduled, however it is intended that like the South Melbourne and Melbourne City FC clash, this tie will be played on a weekend.
It begins a shift in how the FFA Cup will be fixtured from 2022, towards playing the Final Rounds on weekends to maximise viewing and attendance opportunities for fans of the competition and participating clubs.
“We are thrilled that the FFA Cup 2021 Final Rounds are now just weeks away from commencing, with this year’s competition featuring a number of enhancements,” Football Australia Chief Executive Officer, James Johnson, said.
“We will always endeavour to place football and our fans first by ensuring that scheduling supports them and helps create special moments to savour. This means weekend football and placing greater value on the FFA Cup match day experience.
“The competition will also be showcased on our new broadcaster via 10 play and Network 10. This is an exciting development and will serve to ensure that Australians across the nation have access to the largest, and only truly national club-based knockout competition in the country, live and free.
“We also want the FFA Cup to inspire the Australian football community and now fans will have an opportunity to follow their local team, not just across Australia but also into Asia, with a preliminary round slot in the AFC Champions League to be awarded to the winning club.”
“The FFA Cup is a competition which brings together the whole sport across the entire country – the only sporting competition in Australia which does this – and we believe the new enhancements will only increase the value and prestige of this great competition.
The FFA Cup 2021 Round of 32 will kick off on Wednesday, 11 August with three (3) all-Member Federation club clashes headlining the opening night of action, broadcast live, free, and exclusive via 10 play on demand.
Hume City FC (VIC) will host Port Melbourne Sharks (VIC) at ABD Stadium, Casuarina FC (NT) will travel to Lions FC (QLD) at Lions Stadium, and ECU Joondalup SC (WA) will welcome Adelaide Olympic FC (SA) to Dorrien Gardens to kick start an enhanced FFA Cup Final Rounds in 2021.
Further matchdays will follow on Wednesday, 18 August, featuring two matches in South Australia and Queensland, as well as Tuesday, 24 August, which will see three games take place in Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia.
Due to the heightening restrictions in Greater Sydney and New South Wales due to COVID-19 at this time, several fixtures in the Round of 32 are still to be confirmed at this stage. This includes the A-League Play-Off between Western United FC and Newcastle Jets FC originally planned for early August.
Football Australia will release more information on fixtures involving NSW and ACT-based clubs in due course.
Fans can catch all the unmissable action of the FFA Cup live and free on 10 play on demand.
Ticketing information for each of the FFA Cup 2021 Round of 32 matches will be released in due course by each home club. Please visit www.theffacup.com.au