Date: 27th May 2016 at 12:08am
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Should Dagenham and Redbridge progress through to an FA Cup quarter final from the 2016/17 season onwards, the game will no longer be subject to a replay.

The Football Association yesterday confirmed that as part of their ongoing review of the domestic Cup competition, a sudden death format – in other words extra time and penalties – will be introduced from March 2017 and all eight quarter final teams on that FA Cup weekend will now formally know their fate on the day.

The move is both to reduce fixture congestion – referencing this season’s tie between West Ham and Manchester United which took place on a Wednesday evening and clashed with Champions League action (apparently you can’t or shouldn’t do that or UEFA get huffy!) but also to add to the ‘drama and impact’ of the competition.

In a statement released to theFA.com, FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn explained.

‘The Emirates FA Cup remains at the heart of English football and this change adds to the excitement of the competition and will benefit the wider game in general. With great attendances and TV figures across the BBC and BT Sport, this season has confirmed the Cup`s special status – underlined by great stories culminating in Manchester United`s triumph at Wembley last Saturday. In a demanding calendar and with increased pressures on fans, it is important we move with the times and consider new innovations such as last week`s successful Non-League Finals Day which saw 50,000 fans at Wembley for the Vase and Trophy. While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the Cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.’

The move was approved on Thursday evening by the FA Board, and whilst replays for earlier rounds will still take place – from next season onwards the quarter final stage will be a straight knockout.

With replays remaining at earlier levels how this benefits ‘English football’s congested fixture list’ will be open for debate when it comes to League 1 and 2 clubs, but it will no doubt be generally welcomed by Premier League and Championship sides you would imagine.