Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Man City boss Pep Guardiola weighs in on FA Cup replay saga with fiery rant: ‘How do they survive?!’

Pep Guardiola gives his thoughts on FA Cup replays being scrapped

Pep Guardiola gives his thoughts on FA Cup replays being scrapped

The Football Association announced on Thursday that all FA Cup replays will be scrapped from next season, leading to backlash from clubs in the Football League.

The FA claimed that “all parties accepted the decision,” before the EFL responded with a statement saying it was “agreed solely between the Premier League and FA”.

FA Cup replays may not make much difference to clubs in the top flight, but the financial injection received from an extra game that is potentially televised and against a top opposition can be vital to clubs further down the football pyramid.

In an interview after Manchester City‘s 1-0 win over Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final, Pep Guardiola gave his thoughts on the situation and appeared to support the controversial decision.

Speaking on BBC One, Gary Lineker asked the manager about how his team had to play just three days after their Champions League quarter-final with Real Madrid on Tuesday, which they lost 1-0.

“It’s unacceptable,” Guardiola said. “Coventry, Manchester United and Chelsea didn’t play in the week but they make us play today.

“Next week if we played Brighton on Friday (instead of Thursday) it would be better.”

Lineker then asked if he felt Man City had been treated unfairly by those arranging the fixtures.

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“It’s impossible, it’s impossible – it is for the health of the players,” Guardiola responded. “Playing this many matches is not normal. Honestly, it’s not normal.

“Are we meant to tell you [we are playing too many games] or shut up? [This amount of games] is impossible and unacceptable.

“After playing 120 minutes against Real Madrid, with the emotion of that, the way we lost and everything, so honestly [replays had to be scrapped].

“I know in this country the FA Cup is special but this is for the health of the players. I don’t understand how we survived today. I don’t understand it.”

Guardiola: ‘We want to play football, but it’s too much’

Lineker then asked Guardiola if he had raised his concerns officially with the Football Association before they made the decision to scrap replays.

The manager denied that he had any influence on the decision.

“Gary, do you think that would change anything?” Guardiola responded.

“The only power I have is to say it here [in interviews] – it’s not going to change anything, I know this from experience.

“But why did we have to play today and not tomorrow when Coventry and Man Utd didn’t play in the week? Why? Why not one more day rest for the health of the players? I don’t know how they survived.

“And for me as a manager – how do I prepare for a Champions League semi-final and then an FA Cup semi-final three days later? It’s impossible.”

“We want to play football, we love to play football, but it’s too much.”

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