Third round and fourth round replays in the FA Cup have been scrapped this season.

This is in a bid to help alleviate fixture congestion as COVID-19 continues to disrupt the English football calendar.

Ties are now set to go to extra-time and penalties instead.

The decision comes as English football is set to burst with postponed fixtures as Covid cases continue to surge within the pyramid.

Six top-flight matches were called off this weekend due to positive Covid cases, while more than half of the scheduled fixtures in the three divisions directly below the Premier League were also postponed.

These games will have to be rearranged at some point in the new year, and removing the possibility of cup replays should free up some space in the calendar for league matches to take place.

The move follows last year’s precedent when replays were scrapped due to the football season being heavily condensed due to the pandemic.

Leicester won last season’s final by beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley, and they will begin the defence of the famous cup next month when they host Watford.

The FA Cup third round is due to take place across January 7-10, 2022. The fourth round is set to be held across the weekend of February 5-6.