Football: Scrapping FA Cup replays would be disrespectful, says Wenger

LONDON (REUTERS) - Scrapping FA Cup replays would be a sign of disrespect to England's most traditional club competition, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Friday.

The Football Association (FA) and Premier League clubs are considering a number of measures, including scrapping FA Cup replays, in order to trim English football's busy fixture list, according to British media reports.

A lucrative new domestic broadcast deal, worth 70 per cent more than the existing one, comes into effect next season and Wenger, who has lifted the FA Cup six times, believes the extra revenue can help clubs cope with fixture congestion.

"This is the most traditional competition in England. Let's respect it and keep it as it is," Wenger told reporters ahead of his side's fifth-round clash against second tier Hull City on Saturday.

"Next season there is even more money coming in. That means every single club will have 25 top-level players. I am convinced that all the clubs can compete with the number of games and there is no real need to change the rules."

Arsenal are bidding to become the first club since Blackburn Rovers in the 1880s to lift the trophy three years in a row and only the third club to do so.

Wenger said midfielder Jack Wilshere, who is yet to feature for the club this season, is "three to four weeks" away from returning to first-team action.

The Frenchman also said back-up goalkeeper David Ospina will start Saturday's FA Cup encounter against Hull.