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Irish Voice Sport
FA Cup on Tour in NYC
November 12, 2008
By Declan O’Kelly
THE FA Cup made a rare trip out of the U.K. when it spent an afternoon at Stout Bar on West 33rd Street in Midtown Manhattan last Friday.
The oldest cup in world soccer was brought over to the States by the English Football Association (FA) in conjunction with Setanta Sports and Fox Soccer Channel (FSC) to announce FA Cup coverage on both channels.
TV screens played famous goals from the FA Cup’s long history while media and fans had the opportunity to touch, but not lift, one of the most storied trophies in the game.
Fox Soccer Channel commentator Max Bretos emceed the event and spoke to the Irish Voice about the importance of the trophy’s visit to the Big Apple.
“It is an opportunity to get the U.S. public a little excited about the (FA Cup) competition,” said Bretos, who added what a rare chance it was to see the cup in the flesh and appreciate the historic place this competition holds in the history of world football.
Setanta Sports international managing director Roger Hall was on hand to reiterate the Irish-founded company’s commitment to the competition, as was FA group commercial director Jonathan Hill, who announced TV coverage for the season.
“The trophy has only been out of the country three times, but that is still more than the number of times Sarah Palin has been out of her own country,” cracked Hill.
Two-time FA cup finalist Warren Barton was also present with his pair of runner-up medals. The former Newcastle player, who now works as a pundit for FSC, had fond memories of the competition despite being on the losing side on two occasions.
“This is actually the closest I’ve got to the trophy,” joked the former England international. “The FA Cup means a lot to me as my first goal; there weren’t too many goals either, but my first goal was for Maidstone against Yeovil in the FA Cup. I was fortunate to be in the final twice, but I won’t mention the results!”
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