Football Association Cup Primer

There are a couple of intra-season tournaments played by teams in the English football association, including the Championship League and Europa League¬†for teams that qualify for those specific tournaments. While the Championship League is limited to the top teams from the Premier League, it is technically possible for a lower-tier team to qualify for the Europa League tournament, even though it hasn’t happened for over in the Premier League era of English football.
Two of the qualifying spots in Europa League, at least for English association football, are awarded to the winners of two English-only Cup competitions: the Football Association Cup – also know as the FA Cup – and the English League Cup (ELC).* However, as mentioned previously, a non-tier 1 team hasn’t won either cup since 1991, when Sheffield Wednesday managed to secure the EFL Cup. The last team from outside the top division to win the FA Cup was West Ham United way back in 1980 (though Cardiff City, while a member of the Championship, did lose in the final to Portsmouth in 2008).
*I’ll cover the English League Cup in a subsequent post.

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