About the Competition

What is the Australia Cup?

The Australia 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), the stage when the A-League clubs join the fray.

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.

In 2021 over 700 clubs from around the country are competing in the Preliminary Rounds. That total will increase with the inclusion of the ten A-League clubs and the reigning NPL Champions of Australia, Wollongong Wolves, who received automatic entry to the Round of 32 for winning the 2019 Finals Series.

FFA Cup 2021 Draw Principles

FFA Cup 2021 Draw Principles
1. How are the slots for the Round of 32 decided?

Each state and territory is allocated a number of slots in the Round of 32, based on the number of registered players and number of each Member Federation’s entrants in the Preliminary Rounds. Each state and territory decides the qualification route.

The FFA Cup became a truly national competition in 2015 when the Northern Territory started to participate in the Preliminary Rounds (pre Round of 32) and were granted a slot in the Round of 32.

The decision in regards to determining the number of slots each Member Federation receives is made after a review of the previous year and feedback received from the FFA Cup Advisory Committee which is comprised of representatives from the Member Federations, A-League clubs, the Professional Footballers Association and Football Australia. 

In 2015 the competition also saw the start of an automatic Round of 32 slot being allocated to the reigning National Premier Leagues Champions of Australia.

In 2021, the ten A-League clubs will be determined by:
- Top 8 qualifying directly into the Final Rounds
- Bottom four playing off for final two spots (9th v 12th and 10th v 11th)

The final allocation for the Round of 32 in 2021 comprises:

• Football NSW - 5 clubs
• Football Victoria - 4 clubs
• Football Queensland - 4 clubs
• Football West - 2 clubs
• Northern NSW Football - 2 clubs
• Capital Football - 1 club
• Football South Australia - 1 club
• Football Tasmania - 1 club
• Football Northern Territory - 1 club
• National Premier Leagues Finals Series Champion - 1 club
• A-League - 10 clubs 

2. Where will the FFA Cup be broadcast?

From 2014-2020, the FFA Cup was broadcast on Fox Sports. 

However, in 2021 the FFA Cup will be broadcast by Network 10.

3. What are the Preliminary Round dates and formats for each State and Territory?

Each Member Federation’s entrants in the Round of 32 will be decided on or before the following dates:

Member Federation


Football Queensland

20 June

Football NSW

16 June

Football Tasmania

14 June

Football Victoria

16 June

Northern NSW Football

14 June

Capital Football (ACT)

5 June

Football West

24 June

Football Northern Territory

22 June

Football South Australia

21 June

*Dates are subject to change

4. What are the possible dates of the FFA Cup 2021 Final Round matches?

Round of 32
August 3-25 2021

Round of 16
September 7-15, 2021

Quarter Finals
September 28-29, 2021

Semi Finals
October 16-17, 2021

Cup Final
October 30-31, 2021

5. What are the Draw Principles for the FFA Cup Draw?

The 2021 draw principles are as follows: 

6. Why does the FFA Cup draw produce a Semi FInal with at least one Member Federation Club?

From 2014-2020, the draw was regulated to feature one Member Federation club in the Semi Final. 

However, from 2021 onwards, this will no longer be the case. 

7. Why is Wellington Phoenix participating in the FFA Cup?

As a club licensed by Football Australia to participate in the A-League, Wellington Phoenix should be afforded the same opportunity as other A-League clubs to play in the FFA Cup. As a professional club, Wellington Phoenix is not able to play in New Zealand Football's Chatham Cup.

In accordance with FIFA Regulations, Wellington Phoenix's participation in the FFA Cup has been approved by FIFA, the AFC, the OFC and New Zealand Football.

Wellington Phoenix will play all FFA Cup matches in Australia.

8. Will Football Australia cover the costs of travel for competing Clubs?

Football Australia will cover reasonable flights, ground transport and accommodation for a travelling party of 21 for each travelling Away club.

9. Who retains the rights to ticket revenue?

The home club will incur applicable venue hosting costs and receive all associated ticket revenue, excluding the FFA Cup Final which will be run by Football Australia.

10. How will the home Clubs be determined?

Where matches involve Member Federation clubs only, the first drawn club will be given hosting rights.

Where matches involve a Member Federation club and a A-League club, the Member Federation club will be given the right to host.

Where both clubs involved are A-League clubs, the first drawn club will have hosting rights.

11. Will suburban grounds be able to meet the FFA Cup Venue and Security Standards for broadcast matches?

Football Australia wants to embrace the unique atmosphere of cup competitions and play as many FFA Cup matches at suburban grounds as possible.

However, each venue will need to meet appropriate Minimum Venue and Security Standards that will be in place for the FFA Cup.

12. Why are all matches scheduled to be played on a Tuesday or Wednesday night?

This creates consistency for the viewer and fan to identify with Tuesday or Wednesday nights as the nights to watch the FFA Cup.

For player welfare reasons, matches may be rescheduled depending on the league fixtures of the participating clubs.

However, in 2021, the Semi Finals and Final will be played on weekends. 

13. Where will be FFA Cup Final be played?

The FFA Cup Final 2021 is currently earmarked to be played at a neutral venue. 

14. Will Western United & Macarthur compete in the FFA Cup 2021 Final Rounds?

If Western United & Macarthur both finish in the Top 8 of the A-League, or win their respective Play-Offs, they will be competing in the FFA Cup Round of 32 in 2021.