FFA Cup

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FFA Cup
Organising bodyFootball Australia
Founded24 February 2014; 7 years ago (2014-02-24)
RegionAustralia
New Zealand
Number of teams765 (in 2021)
Qualifier forAFC Champions League
Current champions2019: Adelaide United
(3rd title)
Most successful club(s)Adelaide United (3 titles)
Television broadcastersNetwork 10 (Australia) Paramount+ (Australia)
Choice TV (New Zealand)
ESPN (New Zealand)
Pasifika TV (Pacific Islands)
Australia TV (Pacific Islands)
beIN Sports (Southeast Asia)
WebsiteFFA Cup
2021 FFA Cup

The Football Federation Australia Cup, mostly known as the FFA Cup, is the national football knockout cup competition in Australia. This annual competition is organised by Football Australia, formerly known as the Football Federation Australia until 2020.

The FFA Cup comprises teams from the top division, the A-League, as well as those from lower tiers in the Australian soccer league system.[1] Teams enter in progressive stages, with qualifying rounds culminating with the competition proper, starting with the Round of 32. Each state and territory-based member federation is granted a team allocation for entry into the main competition, joining clubs from the A-League. Every Australian-based A-League club was initially guaranteed entry into the Round of 32; following the latest expansion of the league, there will be play-offs conducted between the lowest-ranked teams to ensure that only 10 A-League teams achieve qualification.[2]

Since the Australian soccer league system currently provides no promotion and relegation mechanism between the first and lower divisions, part of the competition's appeal stems from the fact that it is the only way that A-League and lower-tier clubs can currently play formal competitive matches.

From 2021 onwards, the winner of the competition will also qualify for one of the play-off spots for the subsequent year's AFC clubs competitions, being the AFC Champions League (for 2022) or the AFC Cup (for 2023).[3] This is unless Wellington Phoenix are the winner, as they cannot qualify for AFC competitions since they come from New Zealand, which is part of the Oceania Football Confederation.

Adelaide United are the most successful team with three titles, and are the defending champions after defeating Melbourne City in the 2019 Final.

History[edit]

Australia has a long history of regional and state-based knockout cup competitions. However, a sustainable national knockout cup competition that encompassed clubs on all levels of Australian league system has been hard to realise. Prior to the FFA Cup, the first and only Australian national knockout tournament was the Australia Cup. The Australia Cup was founded in 1962 but was abolished in 1968 after just seven seasons of competition. In 1977 a knockout competition was founded to run in parallel with the now defunct National Soccer League (NSL). The NSL Cup involved Australian association football clubs competing in the then top-flight NSL and limited clubs from state based competitions. The NSL Cup ceased after the 1996–97 tournament. An A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup competition ran between 2005 and 2008 but involved only the teams from the A-League and was not a traditional knockout format.[4]

The FFA Cup was previously scheduled to commence in 2013, though after suffering numerous delays due to FFA's 2012 television coverage deal and rising cost concerns the competition was put on hold.[5][6] On 29 August 2013, it was announced that a national FFA Cup would commence in 2014, after what would be two years of organising the knock out competition.[7] On 14 October 2013, FFA announced that it had appointed Sam Chadwick as General Manager of the FFA Cup.[8] On 24 February 2014, the FFA Cup was formally launched by David Gallop.[9]

The first member federation club to qualify for the FFA Cup was Tuggeranong United from the Australian Capital Territory. Tuggeranong United qualified for the 2014 FFA Cup as the winners of the 2013 ACT Federation Cup.[10] The first games in the tournament proper occurred on 29 July 2014, with four games from the Round of 32 played concurrently. In 2014 former three time NSL Champions Adelaide City became the first semi-professional state-league club to defeat a professional A-League club, defeating Western Sydney Wanderers 1–0.

In late 2020 the FFA announced that future winners of the cup would earn an Asian Champions League preliminary round spot.[11]

The 2020 competition was cancelled on 3 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.[12] This on-going pandemic caused further disruptions to both the preliminary rounds and the main competition in 2021.[13][14]

Eligibility[edit]

Up to and including the 2019 edition, the 32 teams that make up the FFA Cup competition proper have been the 10 A-League teams with the remaining 22 teams composed of various semi-professional and amateur qualifiers, referred to as "Member Federation Clubs", from each of the state federations, with the A-League clubs enter the competition at the Round of 32.[15] For the 2021 edition, the top eight placed A-League clubs for the 2020–21 A-League season gain automatic qualification to the Round of 32. The remaining four teams will be subject to a play-off series for the remaining two positions.[16]

The number of clubs representing each federation is determined by player registration numbers in each jurisdiction, and reviewed annually. The Northern Territory did not participate in the inaugural competition, however have been represented since 2015.[17]

From the 2015 edition of the competition onwards the National Premier Leagues Champion of the previous year, also qualifies for the FFA Cup Round of 32. The first club to qualify via this method was North Eastern MetroStars from South Australia who won the 2014 National Premier Leagues Finals Series.[18]

Federation Associated Competition Round of 32 Qualifiers
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Football Australia A-League 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
National Premier Leagues 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Capital Football (ACT) Federation Cup (ACT) 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Northern NSW Football None - Previously linked with the NNSWF State Cup 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Football NSW Waratah Cup 7 5 5 5 5 5 4 4
Football Northern Territory NT FFA Cup Final 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Football Queensland None - Previously linked with the Canale Cup 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Football South Australia Federation Cup (SA) 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
Football Tasmania Milan Lakoseljac Cup 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Football Victoria Dockerty Cup 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Football West (WA) State Cup 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total Entrants 631 648 704 735 781 736 765 765

Format[edit]

The competition proper is a 32-team knockout tournament. In the event of a match being drawn after the completion of 90 minutes, extra time is played, followed by a penalty shoot-out if required.[15] In some preliminary rounds, games can go straight to penalties if tied at 90 minutes.[19]

A draw for each round is made from the Round of 32 to the Semi-Finals. From 2021 there will be a new format of a restricted draw, with the Round of 32 split into four geographic zones. Subsequent rounds will be subject to an open draw.[11] In prior years, the draw was made to ensure that there would be some progression of Member Federation Clubs to later rounds, including one Member Federation club guaranteed to make the Semi Final.[15]

Wellington Phoenix have additional restrictions imposed as they are a New Zealand-based team, and must play all of their matches in Australia, away from home.[20]

The inaugural 2014 FFA Cup Final was held as a mid-week fixture on Tuesday 16 December 2014, in order to minimise the impact on the scheduling of the 2014–15 A-League season, already disrupted by Australia hosting the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.[17][20] For the following year, the 2015 FFA Cup Final was played on a weekend date free of other 2015–16 A-League games, to "emphasise the importance of the Final".[21] From 2016 to 2019, the Final was staged as a mid-week fixture.

Trophy[edit]

At the end of the final, the winning team is presented with a trophy, known as the "FFA Cup Trophy", which they will hold until the following year's final.

The trophy is a large traditional style cup with an intentional resemblance to the historical Australia Cup trophy which ran from 1962 to 1968.[22] The cup itself is made from silver-soldered brass, which is plated with 24 carat gold and sterling silver.[23] It has two handles which each have the badge of Football Federation Australia inscribed on the inside corners. Also inscribed on the cup is the design of the cup and the words FFA Cup. The trophy features two footballs, one as the base of the cup and the other as a trim, on the very top of the cup lid.

The FFA Cup Trophy was created by D3 Design, who also designed the A-League, W-League and NPL Champions silverware.[23]

Sponsorship[edit]

In its inaugural season the FFA Cup joined with an official naming rights partner. In 2014, Westfield Group was announced as the sponsor for the first three seasons of the cup tournament, known for commercial purposes as the "Westfield FFA Cup".[24]

Between 2014 and 2016 Umbro supplied match balls for all FFA Cup matches.[24] The FFA Cup Match Ball, the Umbro Neo 150 Elite, was specially designed for the competition.[25] Between 2017 and 2019 Mitre supplied the Mitre Delta Hyperseam as the official FFA Cup match ball after a public vote to select between three alternate ball designs.[26] After the cancellation of the 2020 competition, Mitre introduced the Mitre Delta Max for the 2021 FFA Cup.[27]

Media coverage[edit]

In the tournament's first season, 10 matches were broadcast live on Fox Sports.[20] In addition, FFA Cup draws from the Round of 32 onwards were also televised live on Fox Sports.[24] Internationally, several FFA Cup matches were broadcast live in South Asian nations, such as: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, after a three-season deal with TEN Sports in 2014.[28]

In 2015 and 2016 Fox Sports streamed live all non-broadcast games via their online services.[29][30]

From 2017 onwards, 5 FFA Cup matches (from quarter finals) were broadcast live by beIN Sports in Asia-Pacific nations, such as: Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. 7 FFA Cup matches were broadcast live by BT Sport in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

From 2018, at least 1 FFA Cup match per round was scheduled to be broadcast live by ESPN+ in the United States[31] and in other countries where the rights were not sold, most of the matches were streamed live by YouTube via My Football channel.

In 2017 the ABC held the Radio broadcast rights for FFA Cup matches, including the Final.[32]

In 2021 Network 10 and Paramount+ obtained the TV broadcast rights for the next 5 years, starting from the round of 32 of the FFA Cup all the way until the finals.[33]

Finals[edit]

Season Champion Score Runner-up Venue Attendance Qualification to
2014 Adelaide United 1–0 Perth Glory Hindmarsh Stadium 16,142
2015 Melbourne Victory 2–0 Perth Glory Melbourne Rectangular Stadium 15,098
2016 Melbourne City 1–0 Sydney FC Melbourne Rectangular Stadium   18,751
2017 Sydney FC 2–1 (a.e.t.) Adelaide United Sydney Football Stadium 13,452
2018 Adelaide United 2–1 Sydney FC Hindmarsh Stadium 14,448
2019 Adelaide United 4–0 Melbourne City Hindmarsh Stadium 14,920
2020 Tournament cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia[12]
2021 2022 AFC Champions League preliminary rounds

Individual honours[edit]

Mark Viduka Medal[edit]

The award given to the player of the match in each year's FFA Cup Final.

Year Player Club Ref
2014 Spain Sergio Cirio Adelaide United [34]
2015 New Zealand Kosta Barbarouses Melbourne Victory [35]
2016 Uruguay Bruno Fornaroli Melbourne City [36]
2017 Poland Adrian Mierzejewski Sydney FC [37]
2018 Australia Craig Goodwin Adelaide United [38]
2019 Australia Al Hassan Toure Adelaide United [39]
2020 not awarded [12]

Michael Cockerill Medal[edit]

Named after the late former journalist and broadcaster, the Michael Cockerill Medal recognizes the tournament's standout performer from a non-A-League team.[40]

Year Player Club Ref
2018 Burundi Elvis Kamsoba Avondale FC [40]
2019 England Fraser Hills Brisbane Strikers [41]
2020 not awarded [12]

Records and statistics[edit]

Final[edit]

Team[edit]

Individual[edit]

All rounds[edit]

Round of 32 onwards[edit]

Preliminary rounds[edit]

Individual records[edit]

Round of 32 onwards[edit]

Preliminary rounds[edit]

Winners and finalists[edit]

Results by team[edit]

Since its establishment, the FFA Cup has been won by 4 different teams.

Results by team
Club Wins First final won Last final won Runners-up Last final lost Total final
appearances
Adelaide United 3 2014 2019 1 2017 4
Sydney FC 1 2017 2017 2 2018 3
Melbourne City 1 2016 2016 1 2019 2
Melbourne Victory 1 2015 2015 0 1
Perth Glory 0 2 2015 2

Upsets[edit]

The possibility of unlikely victories in the earlier rounds of the competition, where lower ranked teams beat higher placed opposition is what is known as a "giant killing" or "cupset", is much anticipated by football fans in Australia. A-League clubs represent the highest level in the Australian league system, whereas member federation clubs come from Level 2 and below. Over the history of the competition, teams from Level 2 or below (level indicated in parentheses) have defeated A-League opposition on eight occasions:

Season Date Round Winner Opponent Venue Score
2014 12/08/2014 Round of 32 Adelaide City (2) Western Sydney Wanderers Marden Sports Complex 1–0
2016 02/08/2016 Round of 32 Green Gully (2) Central Coast Mariners Green Gully Reserve 2–1
2016 03/08/2016 Round of 32 Redlands United (2) Adelaide United Perry Park 2–1 (a.e.t.)
2017 01/08/2017 Round of 32 Heidelberg United (2) Perth Glory Olympic Village 1–0
2017 02/08/2017 Round of 32 Blacktown City (2) Central Coast Mariners Lily's Football Centre, Sydney 3–2
2018 07/08/2018 Round of 32 Bentleigh Greens (2) Wellington Phoenix Kingston Heath Soccer Complex 1–0
2018 21/08/2018 Round of 16 APIA Leichhardt Tigers (2) Melbourne Victory Leichhardt Oval 3–2
2019 07/08/2019 Round of 32 Brisbane Strikers (2) Wellington Phoenix Perry Park 2–2 (a.e.t.)
(4–2 (p))

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ D'Alfonso, Daniel (3 June 2011). "FFA Cup to embrace country teams". Herald Sun. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  2. ^ "FFA Cup to introduce Hyundai A-League play-off process from 2020". Football Australia. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  3. ^ "How the FFA Cup playoffs for A-League clubs work". Football Australia. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  4. ^ "FFA Cup a new old tradition". Football Federation Australia.
  5. ^ "Live Chat with Lyall Recap". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  6. ^ Smithies, Tom (7 August 2012). "FFA Cup on hold due to cost concerns". Herald Sun. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  7. ^ "FFA Cup set for 2014 kick off". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  8. ^ "Football Federation Australia appoints FFA Cup General Manager". Football Federation Australia. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  9. ^ Gorman, Joe (24 February 2014). "Will the FFA Cup help Australia's 'old soccer' clubs?". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Tuggeranong United gets nod for FFA Cup". The Canberra Times. 23 February 2014. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Open draw, ACL slot for winner among changes as FFA Cup returns". The World Game. SBS. 2 December 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d "Coronavirus forces FFA Cup to be cancelled". The World Game. SBS. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  13. ^ "FFA Cup Round 5 Fixture Postponement". Football Australia. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  14. ^ "FFA Cup 2021 Fixture Update". Football Australia. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b c "FFA Cup How Draw Works". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Stand-alone Final and AFC Champions League prize to headline rebooted FFA Cup in 2021". Football Australia. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  17. ^ a b Weiner, David (2013). "Football Federation Australia reveals new FFA Cup competition and trophy". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Cup spot the reward in PS4 NPL Finals Series". footballaustralia.com.au. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  19. ^ "Competition Rules 2020 - Annexure 29 FFA Cup WA Preliminary Rounds" (PDF). Football West. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  20. ^ a b c "2014 FFA Cup FAQs". Football Federation Australia. 24 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Saturday night final for Westfield FFA Cup in 2015". Football Federation Australia. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  22. ^ Bossi, Dominic (24 February 2014). "FFA Cup: Minnows get a shot at A-League clubs". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  23. ^ a b "EPL trophy influenced FFA Cup design". Football Federation Australia. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  24. ^ a b c "Westfield new naming rights partner of FFA Cup". Football Federation Australia. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  25. ^ "Umbro launch official Westfield FFA Cup ball". Football Federation Australia. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Vote on the new Mitre Westfield FFA Cup ball". Football Federation Australia. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Introducing the new Mitre Australia ball for the FFA Cup 2021". Football Federation Australia. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  28. ^ Greco, John (8 May 2014). "A-League and FFA Cup's Asia TV deal". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  29. ^ "Fox Sports to Live stream Westfield FFA Cup matches". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  30. ^ "FOX SPORTS to LIVE stream Westfield FFA Cup matches". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  31. ^ "ESPN". 16 August 2018.
  32. ^ "News". 19 September 2017.
  33. ^ "Football Australia reaches landmark media rights agreement with 10 ViacomCBS". 15 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Adelaide United's Sergio Cirio winner of the FFA Cup 'treble'". Fox Sports. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  35. ^ Lynch, Michael (7 November 2015). "Melbourne Victory get better of Perth Glory to win FFA Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  36. ^ "Fornaroli claims medal for FFA Cup show". SBS. 30 November 2016.
  37. ^ Kemp, Emma (21 November 2017). "Mierzejewski awarded Mark Viduka Medal". ESPN FC.
  38. ^ Gatt, Ray (30 October 2018). "FFA Cup final: Craig Goodwin strikes gold for Reds". The Australian.
  39. ^ "Dream comes true for Al Hassan Toure as Adelaide lift FFA Cup again". The Guardian. 23 October 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Avondale ace Kamsoba claims Fox Sports' new FFA Cup honour". Football Federation Australia. 20 October 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  41. ^ Rayson, Zac (23 October 2019). "Brisbane Strikers star Fraser Hills awarded Mike Cockerill Medal - can he reach the A-League?". Fox Sports. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  42. ^ "FFA Cup Match Center – Teviot Downs SC 0–31 Bayside United FC". sportstg.com. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  43. ^ "FFA Cup Match Center – Albion Park White Eagles 31–0 Epping FC". sportstg.com. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  44. ^ "Fastest goal scored in FFA Cup history". FFA Cup. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  45. ^ Stavroulakis, Mark (23 March 2020). "FFA CUP ROUND 2 – REPORTS UPDATED". Football New South Wales. Retrieved 25 March 2020.

External links[edit]