FFA Cup needs two-leg final to move forward

Glory players pose with the
Glory players pose with the "2015 Finalist flag" after winning the FFA Cup Semi Final match between Perth Glory and Melbourne City FC at nib Stadium in Perth. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

I HAVE always been a huge fan of the FA Cup in England, so that's why I have embraced the FFA Cup since its inception last year.

In essence the competition has worked well.

I love the fact that teams who are in the lower echelons of the game get the chance to play against those at the top level.

There is plenty for Football Federation Australia to be proud of after the first two seasons of the competition.

In the first two years we have seen upsets, which is what cup football should be all about, and we have seen decent crowds at venues where fans would not normally see football at the highest level domestically.

The fact that every game is shown live on pay-tv is also a bonus for the game which is always battling to grab the attention from the more traditional Australian sports such as rugby league and Aussie rules.

But while the FFA can blow its own trumpet at how well the playing side of the competition has gone, it has to look at the final.

Perth Glory won its way to the decider last season and was forced to travel to Adelaide.

It also got to the final this year and might have expected the powers that be would cut it some slack and let the club host

Saturday's final against Melbourne Victory.

But no, the Glory has to travel across the country once more, and I can understand why those out west are more than a tad ticked off.

"Again it's disappointing that we've been forced to travel interstate, after qualifying for our second consecutive FFA Cup final," Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos said.

"We put a strong case forward to the FFA outlining why we felt we ought to host the event in Perth. We would have loved to host the FFA Cup final in front of our loyal and dedicated fans and members, but we have accepted the situation and will move forward in the spirit of the game.

"Going forward we have proposed that the FFA Cup final be played over two legs: home and away.

"As it stands, the current host venue selection criteria is skewed towards the bigger teams and cities and it must be addressed in the future," Filopoulos said.

I have to agree with Perth's CEO.

In the interest of fairness to all clubs, a final over two legs - one home and one away - has to be the way forward if the competition is to continue to thrive.

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