LONDON (AP) — English Premier League leader Tottenham was drawn to play eighth-tier Marine in the third round of the FA Cup in the biggest mismatch in the history of the world’s oldest soccer competition.

It is already being labeled “Marine vs. Mourinho,” with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho set to take his team to Merseyside for a match against an opponent whose league is on hold because of the national lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marine plays in the Northern Premier League North West and is in the FA Cup third round for just the second time after scoring a winner in the last minute of extra time on Sunday.

With Tottenham top of the Premier League under Mourinho after 10 games, it will be the biggest ever gap between two clubs in the third round of the FA Cup, a competition first played in 1871.

“Spurs are 8 times winners of the world’s oldest cup competition with a host of full internationals, including the current England and Wales team captains (Harry Kane and Gareth Bale), in their ranks plus of course Jose Mourinho as manager,” Marine said in a statement.

“If anyone thinks the magic of the FA Cup is dead — read that last paragraph again!”


Marine said the club would hold talks with its local council, Tottenham, and “other potential interested parties” regarding match arrangements, suggesting the game might not take place at Marine’s own stadium.

The part-timers of Chorley, one of three other non-league teams who will be in a round where the clubs from the Premier League and second-tier Championship enter, was drawn against Derby County — a side being managed temporarily by former England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. Chorley has never made it this far in the competition.

Stockport, which plays in the fifth tier, was drawn at home to West Ham.

The matches will be played from Jan. 8-11.

Arsenal will start the defense of its title with a home match against fellow Premier League Newcastle. Liverpool travels to Aston Villa in another match between top-flight clubs.


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