Bulgarian Cup

The Bulgarian Cup has its roots in several tournaments held in Bulgaria through the 20th century, simultaneously or successively.

The first one is the tournament for the Tsar’s Cup (“King’s Cup”). The tournament is officially recognised as the foundation for the modern domestic cup tournament (the Bulgarian Cup) by the Bulgarian Football Union, and holders of the trophy between 1938 and 1942 are officially recognised as domestic cup holders. From 1924 till 1937 that tournament was considered the state championship to determine the national football champion (winners of the tournament between 1924 and 1937 are recognised as official football champions of the country by the BFU). In 1937 a national league was created to determine the football champion of Bulgaria. The tournament for the Tsar’s Cup, however, remained a prestige competition in the country. With the change of the political regime in the country in the 1940s, the tournament ceased to exist.

Whilst the Communist period in Bulgaria (lasted between 1945 and 1990), a two-legged knock-out tournament for the Soviet Army Cup was annually held. The tournament had a national scope but initially included only top tier clubs. In 1981, in honour of the 1300th anniversary of the country, another national knock-out football tournament took place awarding the winner the Cup of Bulgaria. As a symbol of national pride, the competition has widely popular and continued to be held annually afterwards. After 1981, the tournament for the Cup of the Soviet Army gradually lost its importance due to the success of the Bulgarian Cup tournament. Nowadays, the Bulgarian Football Union recognises the clubs holders of the Soviet Army Cup as official domestic cup holders for the years between 1945 and 1982, while holders of the Bulgarian Cup are the official domestic cup holders from 1983 onwards. Levski Sofia, as the club to have won the Soviet Army Cup most times, were awarded the original trophy to keep in their collection.

 

FORMAT OF THE COMPETITION

The Bulgarian Cup tournament is divided in two phases – the Qualification phase and the Final phase.

Qualification phase – In this phase are participating teams from the four groups of the amateur division V AFG (3rd level of the Bulgarian football league system) and teams from Bulgarian A Regional Football Group (A RFG) (4th level of the Bulgarian football league system).

The Final phase – In this phase are participating the teams that have won their matches in the Qualification phase, with the 20 teams from the two groups of B PFG (10 teams from West B Grupa and 10 teams from East B Grupa) and 16 teams from A Grupa. The team from a lower league division is the home team. In matches between teams from same division the home team is determined by lot.

  • Round 1 (Round of 32) – 32 teams participate (the teams that have won their matches in the Qualification phase, with the 20 teams from the two groups of B PFG (10 teams from West B PFG and 10 teams from East B PFG).
  • Round 2 (Round of 32) – 32 teams participate (16 teams from Round 1 and 16 teams from A PFG).
  • Round 3 (Round of 16) – 16 teams participate (16 teams from Round 2).
  • Quarter-finals – 8 teams participate (8 teams from Round 3).
  •  Semi-finals.
  •  Final.

 

WINNERS

Tsar’s Cup (1938 – 1942)
1938 – FK-13 Sofia
1939 – Shipka Sofia
1940 – FK-13 Sofia
1941 – AS-23 Sofia
1942 – Levski Sofia

Cup of Soviet Army (1946 – 1982)

Levski Sofia – 13 times (1946, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1967, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1977, 1979)
CSKA Sofia – 9 times (1951, 1954, 1955, 1961, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974)
Slavia Sofia – 6 times (1952, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1975, 1980)
Lokomotiv Sofia – 3 times (1948, 1953, 1982)
Botev Plovdiv – 2 times (1962, 1981)
Spartak Plovdiv – 1 time (1958)
Septemvri Sofia – 1 time (1960)
Spartak Sofia – 1 time (1968)
Marek Stanke Dimitrov – 1 time (1978)

Bulgarian Cup (1983 – present)

Levski Sofia – 11 times (1984, 1986*, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007)
CSKA Sofia – 11 times (1983, 1985, 1987*, 1988*, 1989*, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2006, 2011, 2016)
Litex – 4 times (2001, 2004, 2008, 2009)
Beroe – 2 times (2010, 2013)
Ludogorets – 2 times (2012, 2014)
Sliven – 1 time (1990)
Lokomotiv Sofia – 1 time (1995)
Slavia Sofia – 1 time (1996)
Cherno More – 1 time (2015)

* In 1986 Levski wins Bulgarian Cup as Vitosha Sofia
* In 1987, 1988 and 1989 CSKA wins Bulgarian Cup as Sredets Sofia

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