Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup in the 1996 final.
|Number of teams||8 (2003)|
|Last champions||Al-Zawra'a (2003)|
|Most successful club(s)||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al Talaba, Al-Zawra'a & Al Shorta (3 titles)|
|Television broadcasters||Iraq Television
Baghdad Championship, also known as Iraqi Elite Cup and previously known as Umm Al Ma'arik Cup (Arabic: كأس أم المعارك, literally translating to The Mother of All Battles Cup, referring to the name that was called by the Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on the Gulf War) was an Iraqi football competition. It was played by having a group stage that consists of two groups and then, a knockout (single elimination) stage. Only the top 8 teams in the Iraqi Premier League entered the competition, with the exception of the 1991 and 1993 editions, where the top 6 teams of the league entered.
Although the Umm Al-Ma'arik cup was one of the three major domestic trophies attainable by the Iraqi league teams, it was perceived by larger clubs as a lower priority than the league championship and the Iraq FA Cup. In the first edition, winners received 7k IQD prize money, while the runners-up received 5k IQD. In the second edition and because of the economical changes that accrued on the dinar, the winners were given 150k IQD and the runners-up were given 100k IQD.
The idea of this cup was requested by the administration of Al-Talaba to the Iraq Football Association and it was to put the top 6 teams of the 1990–91 Iraqi League in a single elimination competition, because of the lack of Iraqi competitions, other than the Iraqi Premier League and the Iraq FA Cup. The football association accepted the request, on 24 August 1991, and put up a committee to administrate the competition, which decided to make date of the opening on 2 September. Over 55,000 spectators came to Al-Shaab Stadium, that can only hold 45,000, to watch the cup final between Al-Zawra'a and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, where it ended with a 3-1 win for Al-Zawra'a. After the first edition of the cup, that was setup by Al-Talaba, the Iraq Football Association adopted the competition due to its promising reception from the fans.
The Umm Al-Ma'arik cup was criticized for containing only the top 8 teams of the league, because it was thought that the Iraqi football needed another competition that allows clubs from different divisions and popularity rates to participate, other than the Iraq FA Cup. Almost in every single edition of the cup, three of the Baghdad derby clubs (Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Zawra'a, Al-Talaba, Al-Shorta) finish in the top four, while in the 2002 and 2003 edition all of them were in the top four. All of the derby teams have won the cup title three times.
Due to the Battle of Baghdad in April 2003 and the end of the rule of the Former President Saddam Hussein, the Iraq Football Association decided to change the competition's name from Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup to Baghdad Championship due to the former name's resemblance to the Gulf War. It was named the Baghdad Championship, because all of the competition's matches were played in Baghdad, being divided between Al-Shorta Stadium, Al-Karkh Stadium, Al-Zawra Stadium, and Al-Sina'a Stadium. It ended with Al-Zawra'a winning the championship. This was the first and last edition of the Baghdad Championship.
Records and statistics
|Team||Winners||Runners-up||Years won||Years runner-up|
|Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||3||5||1994, 1996, 1998||1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999|
|Al-Talaba||3||4||1992, 1993, 1995||1994, 2001, 2002, 2003|
|Al-Zawra'a||3||2||1991, 1999, 2003||1996, 2000|
|Al-Shorta||3||1||2000, 2001, 2002||1997|
|Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup|
|1991||Al-Zawra'a||3–1 (aet)||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Al-Talaba||2–2 (p)||Al-Karkh|
|1992||Al-Talaba||1–0 (aet)||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||Al-Zawra'a||4–0||Al-Naft|
|1994||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||0–0 (p)||Al-Talaba||Al-Zawra'a||2–1||Najaf|
|2001||Al-Shorta||1–0 (aet)||Al-Talaba||Al-Karkh||2–1||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|2003||Al-Zawra'a||2–2 (p)||Al-Talaba||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||n/a[a]||Al-Shorta|
- Cancelled due to the Iraq War
- El-Najjar, Hassan (2001). "Chapter 9, The Mother of All Battles". Gulf War 1991. Amazon Press.
- Hashim, Refel; Qayed, Mohammed; Mubarak, Hassanin (December 20, 2007). "Iraq - List of Cup Winners". RSSSF.
- Mahmoud, Shukri (2010). "3". Iraqi Football in 100 years (in Arabic). Baghdad.
- Awad, Mofeed (November 2, 2014). "Al-Talaba wins over Al-Jawiya and hold the second Umm Al-Ma'arik cup 1992". Youtube (in Arabic).
- Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (April 2, 2006). "Iraq 1991/92". RSSSF.
- Mubarak, Hassanin (December 29, 2003). "Iraq 2002/03". RSSSF.
- Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin (September 25, 2004). "Iraq 2003/04". RSSSF.
- "Iraq Football Association: Baghdad Championship replaces the Umm Al-Ma'arik Cup" (in Arabic). Iraq Center. September 9, 2003.