||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (December 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
|Number of teams||294|
|Current champions||Zulte Waregem|
|Most successful club(s)||Club Brugge K.V.
|2016–17 Belgian Cup|
The Belgian Cup (French: Coupe de Belgique; Dutch: Beker van België [Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbeːkər vɑn ˈbɛlɣijə]]; German: Belgischer Fußballpokal) is the main knockout football competition in Belgium, run by the Belgian Football Association. The first cup was held in 1911-12. The most successful cup club is Club Brugge KV with 11 titles followed by RSC Anderlecht (9) and R Standard de Liège (7). Since the 2015-2016 edition, the Belgian Cup is sponsored by crisp brand Croky and the cup is now called Croky Cup.
The first cup competition ever in Belgium was held in 1907-08 but the teams were not actual teams but were provincial selections. The province of West-Vlaanderen won to that of Antwerp by 6-2. The next year, the province of Antwerp beat that of Brabant by 5-2. The cup was then suspended for two years.
The competition began with actual clubs in 1911 but was soon stopped due to the First World War. The interruption lasted until the season 1926-27 but again, the cup fell into disgrace among the leading clubs at the time. In 1953 the competition was finally back in the football calendar. Three years later, a poll was organized after which the Belgian cup was stopped once again. In 1964, with the birth of the European Cup Winners Cup, the competition was organized once again, in order for Belgian football to be represented at that level.
Another cup competition called Belgian League Cup was held between 1997 and 2000. The winning team was qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup but the biggest clubs were denying this competition and were playing it with B teams. This, and the poor attendance during the matches were among the major arguments to stop the competition after three seasons. The winners were successively Lommel, Sint-Truiden and RSC Anderlecht.
The first stage comprises 5 matchdays (in one leg each), played in the 5 last Sundays before September 1. Matches are typically played at 16.00 on the ground of the first drawn team. The first round is played between clubs from levels 4 to 8 in football league pyramid. The second round is played between the clubs who qualified from the first round.
The Belgian Third Division teams (36 clubs) enter the competition in the third round, whereas the 18 Belgian Second Division teams join the competition in the fourth round, together with 38 teams who qualified from the third round. The 16 teams that remain after the fifth round are joined by the 16 Belgian Pro League teams in the sixth round. In this round, all the Belgian Pro League teams are seeded, meaning they cannot meet each other. However the order of the draw still determines the ground. The winners move to round 7, also known as the round of 16.
The rounds of 32 and 16 (Rounds 6 and 7) are single legged games (as well as the final game) while the quarter finals and semi finals are played in two legs. The final game takes place at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels.
Belgian Cup winners and finalists
Performance by club
|Club||Wins||Last final won||Runners-up||Last final lost|
|Club Brugge KV||11||2015||7||2016|
|R Standard Liège||7||2016||9||2007|
|Cercle Brugge KSV||2||1985||5||2013|
|K Lierse SK||2||1999||1||1976|
|SV Thor Waterschei||2||1982||1||1955|
- italic clubs dissolved or merged