Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Why the FA Cup Semi Finals should be played anywhere but Wembley

Another enthralling FA Cup Semi final round passes us by. The FA Cup saw two shock results. On Sunday, Bolton were comprehensively beaten by Stoke. While on Saturday, Manchester City knocked out their bitter rivals Manchester United. But there is one fact, which frustrates every football fan.

Why the hell are the FA Cup semi finals being held at Wembley!?

Personally, I have written articles emphasising how the FA Cup has not lost its significance in the modern game. But the decision’s to play the Semi Final at Wembley are good arguments for the FA Cup losing its significance.

For me, one of the appealing and most gratifying factors of being in the FA Cup final is the right to play at Wembley. Playing at Wembley was a sign of significance and a sign of success. Perhaps it still is. But now the idea of having a right to play at Wembley just because your in the semi final alienating.

It’s alienating simply because the FA Cup is world renowned for its traditions. Most of us grew up hearing of the classic cup semi finals at Villa Park or at Old Trafford. It was fair these games were held elsewhere. As these games are of great significance. But they are not as significant as the final.

The FA Cup final should be a massive occasion. It should be the biggest date on the English calendar. Perhaps having the semis elsewhere would add more significance and incentive to the final. As both teams would have fully earned their right to play Wembley.

Looking at this from a global appeal perspective, having just one FA Cup game at Wembley would make the final and the competition more appealing. As the stage would be a unique and historical. It would be a stage which is renowned for where the finest teams in England come head to head. And it would be stage where the most glorifying moments of English football occur. But at the moment, it makes the road to Wembley a bit repetitive. As the two finalists would have to play at Wembley twice within a few weeks. This means the same stage is used again and again and the stigma of playing at Wembley is lost.

There are probably economical and commercial reasons for the Semis being played at Wembley. Maybe, the FA need Wembley as a method to gain money to keep up with the high payments of the new stadium. It wouldn’t surprise me. Football these days is money orientated.

But it’s frustrating to see that one of the key traditions of the final is being exploited. The right to play at Wembley is one of the biggest incentives for getting to the FA Cup final. But now it seems being a semi finalist is enough of a right earned to play at Wembley.

There have been periods in the 90’s and early 2000’s were the semis were held at the old Wembley. But after a year or two, the people at the FA came to their senses and held the semi finals elsewhere.

But it’s been four years since the semi final has been held away from the new Wembley.

The FA Cup is a culture and a tradition.

It’s a shame, the culture and traditions of the oldest cup competition in football are being slowly removed.

Things you may like to read

Has the FA Cup lost all of its significance in the modern game? - http://tiny.cc/s0725

Just how good is Gary Cahill? - http://tiny.cc/q3lku

Is there a right or wrong way to play football? - http://tiny.cc/fhro0

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