FA Cup Semi-finals

FA Cup Semi-Finals

FA Cup Semi-finals

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The FA Cup Semi-finals are played to determine which teams will contest the FA Cup Final. They are the penultimate phase of the FA Cup, the oldest football tournament in the world.

Location

The semi-finals are contested at neutral venues; in the past these have usually been the home grounds of teams not involved in that semi-final, such as Villa Park in Birmingham, Old Trafford in Manchester and Hillsborough in Sheffield.

The 1991 semi-final between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur was the first to be played at Wembley, the traditional venue for the FA Cup Final. Two years later both semi-finals were held at Wembley after the Sheffield Wednesday/Sheffield United derby was switched from the original venue of Elland Road, Leeds. This was repeated in 1994, although a replay between Manchester United and Oldham Athletic was held at Maine Road, Manchester.

From 1995 to 1999 and from 2001 to 2004 other neutral grounds were used, though in 2000 both matches were played at the old Wembley, in its final year of operation. In 2005 both semi-finals were played at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. However, in 2006 the FA decided to revert to the neutral ground system, with Villa Park and Old Trafford hosting the games.

In 2003, it was announced that all future semi-finals would be played at the new Wembley Stadium, once it had opened; this took effect in 2008. The decision was mainly for financial reasons, to allow the FA to recoup some of the costs of rebuilding...
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