Football, known as soccer to the United States, remains a popular sport around the world. This is particularly true in Europe where competitions happen routinely to find the best teams. The FA Cup is another one of these competitions. The yearly competition utilizes a single elimination format to figure out precisely who is playing best in England that year. The final will be played this coming Saturday between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. It makes for an exciting time for anyone planning to visit England. While the cup itself may happen yearly, it has been around for a long time and has a lengthy history to it. We’ll be looking at all you need to know to enjoy the cup and a little more in this article.
A Brief History
The FA Cup is actually known as The Football Association Cup. It shares its name with its founding organization. The association was formed in the 1860s to organize and provide formal rules for football as a sport. The idea of forming a scheduled competition was proposed soon thereafter to given all football clubs participating in the association a goal to work towards. Rules have changed over the years, but the spirit of the initial idea remains. All member teams are invited to compete, but there have been ways introduced to minimize the number of times it takes over the year. The finals have been held at Wembley Stadium fairly consistently since the early 1920s with some small variations over the years in response to different circumstances. Though the exact Wembley Stadium has changed over the years with the original being demolished at one point for a newer stadium of the same name. Similarly, the cup has been held with a similar consistency since its founding with major wars generally being the only events to interrupt the FA Cup.
What to Expect
With Manchester United and Crystal Palace competing, you can certainly expect a great deal of noise. Manchester United fans, in particular, are known for being highly enthusiastic about their team. The cup itself will be held at Wembley Stadium in London. The stadium itself relatively easily accessible as anyone visiting can name the stadium as their destination, but you are also capable of utilizing the London Underground or other transit methods to get into the general vicinity if you prefer to walk. The stadium itself has seating for the numerous fans who flock to the finals. This includes accommodations for those who wish better seats and service. Of note, the stadium does play host to more than football. It has been converted to play host to both rugby matches as well as American football matches in its time.
Crystal Palace is the London football team and as a result, may enjoy something akin to a home field advantage even if it isn’t actually their home stadium. Their existence in London is actually an amusing historical curiosity. Wembley Stadium, old and new, isn’t their own stadium due to internal regulation disallowing those in charge of the FA Cup itself to own a team. Instead, the would-be team was spun off into its own group and given a different stadium in London of its own. The team has a history with some successes but has never quite enjoyed the same success as their opponents, Manchester United. As one of the most recognizable names in football, Manchester United is known around the world and has the victories to back up its name. The team can boast an impressive number of wins both internationally and at home. The sheer spirit with which the team plays seems to rub off on their fans and occasionally leads to their reputation for being boisterous. Any game Manchester United is in is sure to be a game to see.
Football enthralls fans all over the world. The FA Cup may be one competition among many, but it is one of the notable English competitions. This is sure to make seeing the final on the 21st a sight to see with the best teams available in England competing. Those looking to be in the stadium will probably want to act quickly to find tickets if they haven’t already and finish working on their travel plans for later in the week.