|Number of teams||38 (2012/2013)|
|Current champions||Ludogorets Razgrad (2nd title)|
|Most successful club(s)||Levski Sofia (25)|
|Television broadcasters||TV7, News7, Sport7|
The Bulgarian Cup (Bulgarian: Купа на България) is a Bulgarian annual football competition. It is the country's main cup competition and all officially registered Bulgarian football teams take part in it. It is sponsored by the Bulgarian Corporate Commercial Bank.
The tournament's format is single-elimination, with all matches being one-legged. The Bulgarian Cup final is usually held at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia. Only twice in the last five years the final was played in the province - the 2010 final between Beroe (Stara Zagora) and Chernomorets (Pomorie) (1:0) and the last year final between Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) and Ludogorets Razgrad (1:2). The competition's winner achieves the right to take part in the UEFA Europa League. If the winner has already secured a place through the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group, the team that has come fourth in the championship substitutes it.
The competition has been dominated by Sofia-based teams. The Sofia teams have won together a total number of 61 titles. The two most successful teams are Levski Sofia (25 championships) and CSKA Sofia (19 championships). The most recent winners of the Bulgarian Cup are Beroe Stara Zagora, who beat Levski Sofia 3-1 on penalties after finishing 3:3 in the 2013 Bulgarian Cup Final.
- 1 History
- 2 Competition format
- 3 Sponsorship
- 4 Winners
- 5 Non-official winners
- 6 Performance by club
- 7 Titles by city
- 8 External links
The Bulgarian Cup as a domestic cup knock-out tournament, 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. However the trophy itself had been awarded in the direct knock-out tournament in which the champions of the country's oblasts played in a one-legged single-elimination rounds with the host being determined by lot, since 1924. Form 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 in which the teams played on a round-robin basis 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 (Bulgarian: Купа на Съветската армия) 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.
The Bulgarian Cup tournament is divided in two phases - the Qualification phase and the Final 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).
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 PFG and 10 teams from East B PFG) and 16 teams from A PFG. 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).
Tsar's Cup (1938-1942)
Tsar's Cup (Cup of the King) is the first name of the present tournament Bulgarian Cup. The matches from the tournament were held in the period of 1938-1942.
|1938||FK-13 Sofia||Levski Ruse||3:0||3 October 1938||Sofia|
|1939||Shipka Sofia||Levski Ruse||2:0||3 October 1939||Sofia|
|1940||FK-13 Sofia||Sportklub Plovdiv||2:1||13 October 1940||Sofia|
|1941||AS-23 Sofia||Napredak Ruse||4:2||3 October 1941||Dobrich|
|1942||Levski Sofia||Sportklub Plovdiv||3:0||3 October 1942||Sofia|
Cup of the Soviet Army (1946-1982)
Bulgarian Cup (1983-present)