By Jonathan Davies

The FA Cup will be officially known as the "Emirates FA Cup" for the next three seasons, after the FA and Emirates announced the sponsorship deal.

The world's oldest football cup competition was without a lead sponsor for the 2014/15 season having faced criticism from fans for being officially referred to as the "FA Cup with Budweiser" and the "FA Cup sponsored by E.On" previously. But this is the competition's first title sponsor.

The deal is believed to be worth £30 million over the three seasons, with the FA expected to invest it in grassroots football.

Emirates has long-standing interest in football sponsorship, having sponsored some of Europe's biggest clubs like Real Madrid, AC Milan, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline said: “Football is a truly global sport, a unifying factor in many communities and nations across the world.

"Never is this more evident than with The FA Cup, which has an unrivalled heritage and draws a global audience of more than 1.1bn people.

"The spirit of competition, fair play, and sparking the passions of a global audience, are all values we share at Emirates.

"That is why we are proud to be the first title sponsor of the tournament and we look forward to a long-term partnership to support and connect fans to their teams both here in the UK and across the world.”

Greg Dyke, Chairman of The FA said: “Emirates’ commitment to our sport is evident and securing such an iconic and forward-thinking lead partner for The FA Cup is great news for us, the fans and for the whole game.

"The partnership will help take the tournament to new audiences, inspire interest in football from across the globe and allow us to continue our investment into the game at all levels.”