Hodgson foresees winter break

 Posted by at 6:23 AM
May 272016
England coach Roy Hodgson has previously called for a winter break

England manager Roy Hodgson believes the scrapping of FA Cup quarter-final replays could be the first step to a Premier League winter break.

The Football Association approved the move to ease English football’s congested fixture list.

Hodgson suggested the FA and Premier League had been in discussions about the best way to achieve the objective.

“I think it’s all designed eventually to maybe providing that elusive winter break,” Hodgson said on Thursday.

“There’s been no doubt that one of the stumbling blocks has often been ‘hold on, you have all of these replays and you’re asking us to cut our season down’.

“I think it’s only positive that this sort of move has been made.”

He added that a break would be aimed at “freshening minds up”.

The top divisions in France, Italy, Spain and Germany have winter breaks.

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May 272016
Marouane Fellaini netted the winner against West Ham in April in the last ever FA Cup quarter-final replay

FA Cup quarter-final replays have been scrapped from next season.

The Football Association said the decision was part of its “ongoing review” of the competition and helped to “ease English football’s congested fixture schedule”.

Semi-final replays were phased out after Manchester United’s 1999 victory over Arsenal on their way to winning the treble.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the change “adds excitement”.

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Great goals from this season’s FA Cup

Replays in earlier rounds remain, meaning lower-league clubs will still have the opportunity to earn lucrative second matches against higher-ranked clubs.

Manchester United beat West Ham in a replay in this season’s quarter-finals – Marouane Fellaini scoring the winning goal – before going on to lift the trophy in the final at Wembley.

Glenn added: “While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.”

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