The FA Cup quarter-final replays have been scrapped from next season as part of the England Football Association ongoing review.
Replays in earlier rounds remain, meaning lower-league clubs will still have the opportunity to earn lucrative second matches against higher-ranked clubs.
The FA said the decision was part of its “ongoing review” of the competition and helped to “ease English football’s congested fixture schedule”.
“As part of the ongoing review into The Emirates FA Cup, a sudden-death format for the quarter-final stage has today been approved by The FA Board and will be introduced in March 2017.
“The revamped competition will see eight clubs battle it out over one weekend with each tie to be played to a finish on the day, adding to the drama and impact the competition has enjoyed in recent years.
“Other new initiatives will be explored to ensure The FA Cup retains its status and appeal. These plans also form part of The FA’s commitment to help ease English football’s congested fixture schedule.” The FA statement reads.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn added that the change “adds excitement”.
“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.” Glenn stated on the FA’s official website.
Semi-final replays were phased out after Manchester United’s 1999 victory over Arsenal on their way to winning the treble.