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FA Cup set to be completed this season – and final could be in September

The FA Cup quarter-finals were due to take place last weekend, but the whole competition is currently in jeopardy of being scrapped due to the Covid-19 global pandemic

Football bosses insist the FA Cup will be completed this season – even if the Final has to be in September.

The news comes after the FA took the unprecedented step of expunging all football seasons in England below the three divisions that make up the National League, meaning there will be no promotion or relegation.

But the FA are desperate to hang onto their flagship competition – despite the fact no-one knows when the remaining rounds will be able to take place.

All football has been suspended until April 30 at the earliest due to the coronavirus crisis, but this is expected to be extended into the summer – with Premier League and EFL insisting the current campaign will finish – no matter how long it takes.

It is understood the EFL have now been told this return date for football is now unrealistic and will be put back, with a new date set to be announced in the next 72 hours.

The FA Cup quarter-finals were due to take place last weekend, with the semis scheduled for April 18/19 and the showpiece Final at Wembley due to be staged on May 23.

With everything put on hold, it is difficult to see when these rounds will be fitted into an increasingly problematic football calendar.

No new dates have been announced, but with the remaining Premier League fixtures expected to be prioritised it means the FA Cup final could be pushed back to the autumn for the first time in history.

An FA statement said all its competitions would be finished – and would also take place again as normal next season.

It said: “With the Emirates FA Cup, Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase 2019/20 all at advanced stages, the FA is reviewing all options as we seek to complete these competitions whenever it is safe and appropriate to do so.

“Clubs involved are close to reaching a major Final and for those clubs and supporters we will do all we can to keep the Wembley dream alive. The FA will also continue planning for FA Competitions to take place for the 2020/21 season.”

The FA are continuing talks with the National League about what to do with the remaining matches – and a decision could be announced in the next 48-hours.

Declaring the non-league season below this level null and void is unprecedented – and is cruel on South Shields, who were 12 points clear at the top of the Northern Premier League and destined for the National League before the pandemic struck.

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