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Singapore's Hariss named in AFF Best XI

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By ESPN Staff

Sponsors queue up to put name on FA Cup

The Football Association are expected to reveal a new sponsorship package next week.

Discussions with several bodies are understood to be ongoing which include introducing a lead sponsor for the FA Cup, the world's oldest knockout competition, as was the case with Littlewoods Pools and AXA Insurance during the 1990s.

Under a new deal, however, the trophy would retain its distinct title, with an additional presentation suffix, such as 'The FA Cup, sponsored by Littlewoods Pools' was.

The FA are in the process of reviewing their 'FA Partner' programme.

While Nationwide have opted to end their sponsorship, Umbro have already agreed a new deal and active negotiations are underway with existing partners Carlsberg, Pepsi and McDonalds as well as potential new sponsors.

Umbro are FA sponsors, and a new long-term agreement was announced last month with the England kit suppliers, which will run until the end of the 2013-14 season, a four-year extension of the current package.

As part of the deal, Umbro will be the official football supplier to the FA at all levels of the game from July, and the sportswear firm also become one of four `Founding Partners' at the new Wembley Stadium as well as the title sponsor of the National Football Centre at Burton.

The third round of the FA Cup kicks off this week, with Manchester United's trip to Nationwide Conference side Burton Albion on Sunday looking set to be a classic cup encounter.

FA chief executive Brian Barwick sadi: 'The competition enjoyed an incredible renaissance last season - attendances in some rounds were the best for over 20 years and viewing figures on television were tremendous.

'The FA Cup has been through choppy waters, but I think it's come through them as strong as ever.'

Barwick added: 'This season we have had a record 674 clubs entering the competition.

'I have been to watch matches from the early rounds of the cup and there's no denying the magic of the competition for the players, managers and fans.

'It's also important to say that through the money distributed by the FA via the prize fund and broadcast payments, these cup runs can make a huge financial difference to the smaller clubs who are the lifeblood of football in this country.

'The FA Cup has had to fight for its place in today's football landscape, but I'm confident that it has regained its prestige for clubs of all sizes and holds a special place in our football culture.

'Knockout football has a particular drama and appeal, and you can see on the faces of winning teams, be they Burscough or Arsenal, how much an FA Cup victory means.'