Following last night’s draw to determine the FFA Round of 32, the Wellington Phoenix can confirm they will meet either the Newcastle Jets or Western United next month in this competition.
Wellington’s opponent will be determined when the Jets and Western United face off against each other in a Cup qualifier next month, after both finished in the bottom four of the 2020/21 A-League season. Either way, the Phoenix will participate in the only FFA Round of 32 match which pits two A-League Clubs against each other.
Even though the Wellington Phoenix was drawn as the home team in last night’s draw, the current rules of their entry into the FFA Cup competition stipulates that all FFA Cup matches must be played in Australia – which means the match will take place at the opponent’s designated stadium (TBC).
After not taking place in 2020 due to COVID-19, this year’s FFA Cup will feature several changes, including the introduction of a Zone format for the Round of 32 to avoid any potential problems caused by border restrictions. The draw will then be completely open from the Round of 16 onwards.
This year will also see the winners of the FFA Cup earn a preliminary round slot in the AFC Champions League for the first time. In addition, this will be the final season the competition will be referred to as the 'FFA Cup' following on from the rebranding of the FFA to Football Australia in 2020.
The final dates for the 2021 FFA Cup rounds will be announced at a later date.
What is the FFA Cup?
- The FFA Cup is a national knockout tournament run by Football Australia in conjunction with every State and Territory Member Federation in the country.
- The competition commences with the Preliminary Rounds before moving into the Final Rounds (from the Round of 32 onwards), which is when the A-League clubs join the fray.
- A total of 32 teams are scheduled to participate in the 2021 FFA Cup competition proper, ten of which are from the A-League, one the 2019 National Premier Leagues champions (Wollongong Wolves), and the remaining 21 teams from member federations, as determined by the qualifying rounds.
- Each and every cup tie must be decided on the day, with extra time and penalties to decide results of matches drawn after 90 minutes.
- Adelaide United are the current holders of the cup after winning the competition for a record third time in 2019.
FFA Cup 2021 Round of 32 draw:
Zone 1: Sydney Olympic v Sydney FC; Broadmeadow Magic v Western Sydney Wanderers; Tigers FC v Apia Leichhardt; Blacktown City v Central Coast Mariners; Mt Druitt Town Rangers v Wollongong Wolves; Newcastle Olympic v Macarthur FC.
Zone 2: Lions FC b Casuarina FC; Edge Hill United v Gold Coast Knights; Peninsula Power v Brisbane Roar.
Zone 3: Newcastle Jets/Western United v Wellington Phoenix; Avondale FC v Devonport City; Hume City v Port Melbourne; South Melbourne v Melbourne City.
Zone 4: ECU Joondalup v Adelaide Olympic; Adelaide City v Perth Glory/Melbourne Victory; Floreat Athena v Adelaide United.