Nicosia, Cyprus (PressExposure) February 09, 2009 -- The winner of the final match as well as earning a place in the UEFA cup in the next season will also earn the Â£2,000,000 prize money and the losing team will get Â£1,000,000. The current holders of the FA cup are Portsmouth who beat Cardiff City 1-0 in the 2007/2008 final match. The favorites of this year will be between the top four clubs in the United Kingdom, these being Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal but as always there will be teams from outside the top flight looking to challenge these teams dominance. This whole scenario places Wolver Hampton and Birmingham in the picture.
Sponsorship of the Event - Unlike other sporting events the FA Cup was not sponsored until the year 1994 and it still retains its title to protect its nation al identity and is therefore called as "The FA Cup sponsored by...." The current sponsors of the event are Germany Energy Company E-ON, who will retain the sponsorship until the year 2010. The main sponsor has many partners that have done this over the years such as McDonalds, Pepsi and the Nationwide Building Society.
Format of FA Cup - This competition involves all the clubs currently in the English Football League and in its early stages teams like Ireland, Scotland and Wales have been included. The winner of the FA Cup qualifies to the first round of UEFA Cup. If the winners also qualify for the Champions League, the runner up team up in the FA Cup qualify for the UEFA cup in their place. If both the finalists have already qualified for the Champions League, an extra Cup place is given on the basis of the league position.
All Premier League, Championship and Football League are eligible to enter and the non league teams may enter if they have competed in the previous Cup, FA Trophy or FA Vase. Qualifying Rounds - The competition starts with the Qualifying rounds which are regionalized to help with the traveling costs of the smaller non league sides. Clubs that are higher up the league are exempt from certain rounds.
The Finals - The draw for the semi finals are held in the mid of march normally from the headquarters of the FA these four teams then have their matches played on the first weekend in April. Traditionally, the climax of FA Cup competition always takes place in May and will be held at Wembley Stadium, the home of English football on May 30th 2009. This time it seems that the tournament brings with it a lot of talent at exposure as the teams are focused to play with the best of their potential and zeal with a positive frame of mind.