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Australia Cup

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Australia Cup
Organising bodyFootball Australia
Founded24 February 2014; 10 years ago (2014-02-24)
Region Australia
 New Zealand
Number of teams761 (in 2024)
Qualifier forAFC Champions League Two
Current championsSydney FC
(2nd title)
Most successful club(s)Adelaide United (3 titles)
Television broadcasters
2024 Australia Cup

The Australia Cup[a] is the national soccer knockout cup competition in Australia. This annual competition is organised by Football Australia, formerly known as Football Federation Australia until 2020.

The Australia Cup comprises teams from the top division, A-League Men (known as simply the A-League before the 2021–22 season), as well as those from lower tiers in the Australian soccer league system.[2] Teams enter in progressive stages, with qualifying rounds culminating with the competition proper, starting with the Round of 32. Each of the regional, state or territory-based member federation is granted a team allocation for entry into the main competition, joining clubs from A-League Men. Initially, all A-League Men's teams entered at the Round of 32; following the latest expansion of the league, the top eight teams enter at the Round of 32, while play-offs are conducted between the four lowest-ranked teams for the final two qualification slots.[3]

Since 2021, the winner of the competition also qualifies for one of the play-off spots for the following years' AFC club competitions (the AFC Champions League for 2022, the AFC Cup for 2023–24, and the AFC Champions League Two from 2024–25 onwards), unless Wellington Phoenix are the winner.[4][b]

Since the Australian soccer league system 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 Men and lower-tier clubs can play formal competitive matches.

Adelaide United are the most successful team with three titles. Sydney FC are the defending champions after defeating Brisbane Roar in the 2023 final.


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. It was founded in 1962 but was abolished in 1968 after just seven seasons of competition. In 1977 a knockout competition called the NSL Cup was founded, which ran in parallel with the former National Soccer League (NSL). This competition involved Australian soccer clubs competing in the then top-flight NSL, plus a limited number of 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 Men and was not in a traditional knockout format.[5]

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.[6][7] 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.[8] On 14 October 2013, FFA announced that it had appointed Sam Chadwick as General Manager of the FFA Cup.[9] On 24 February 2014, the FFA Cup was formally launched by David Gallop.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12] However, this did not occur, in part because the competition was re-formatted[13] and Australia lost some qualification slots for the 2023–24 AFC Champions League. Instead, Macarthur FC as the 2022 winner qualified for the 2023–24 AFC Cup.[14]

The 2020 competition was cancelled on 3 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia.[15] This on-going pandemic caused further disruptions to both the preliminary rounds and the main competition in 2021.[16][17]

In 2022 Sydney United 58 became the first National Premier Leagues club to reach the final of the Australia Cup, defeating A-League Men's club Brisbane Roar in the semi-final.


Up to and including the 2019 edition, the 32 teams that make up the Australia 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.[18] Since 2021, the top eight placed A-League clubs for the season gain automatic qualification to the Round of 32. The remaining four teams are subject to a play-off series for the remaining two positions.[19]

The number of clubs representing each federation is determined by player registration numbers in each jurisdiction and reviewed annually. Teams from the Northern Territory have been represented since 2015.[20]

From 2015 to 2021, the National Premier Leagues Champion of the previous year qualified 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.[21] Since 2022, as there is no longer an NPL Champion, an additional slot was allocated to Victoria.[22]

Federation Associated Competition Round of 32 Qualifiers
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
Football Australia A-League Men 10 10 10 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 1 1 1
Northern NSW Football NNSWF State Cup 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Football NSW Waratah Cup 7 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 4
Football Northern Territory NT FFA Cup Final 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Football Queensland From 2024, the Kappa Queensland Cup[23][c] 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Football South Australia Federation Cup (SA) 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2
Football Tasmania Milan Lakoseljac Cup 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Football Victoria Dockerty Cup 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5
Football West (WA) State Cup 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Total Entrants 631 648 704 735 781 736 765 765 750 778 761

Competition 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.[18] In some preliminary rounds, games can go straight to penalties if tied at 90 minutes.[24]

Up until the 2019 edition, all A-League teams entered at the Round of 32. From 2021, only the top eight placed A-League Men clubs for the previous season gain automatic qualification, with the remaining four teams subject to a play-off series for the remaining two positions.[25]

Since 2022, an open draw for each round is made from the Round of 32 to the Semi-Finals, with home ground preference given to Member Federation Clubs where they are drawn against A-League opposition.[26] In 2021 there was a restricted draw for the Round of 32 and Round of 16, split into different geographic zones to minimise travel requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic.[12] 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.[18] 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.[26]


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.[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".[27] From 2016 to 2019, the Final was staged as a mid-week fixture.


At the end of the final, the winning team is presented with a trophy, known as the "Australia 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.[28] The cup itself is made from silver-soldered brass, which is plated with 24 carat gold and sterling silver.[29] 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 soccer balls, one as the base of the cup and the other as a trim, on the very top of the cup lid.

The Australia Cup Trophy was created by D3 Design, who also designed the A-League, W-League and NPL Champions silverware.[29]


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".[30]

Between 2014 and 2016 Umbro supplied match balls for all FFA Cup matches.[30] The FFA Cup Match Ball, the Umbro Neo 150 Elite, was specially designed for the competition.[31] 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.[32] After the cancellation of the 2020 competition, Mitre introduced the Mitre Delta Max for the 2021 FFA Cup.[33] After using the Delta Max for the 2022 competition, the Ultimax Pro was chosen to replace it for 2023.[34]

Records and statistics[edit]

Team records[edit]


Round of 32 onwards[edit]

Preliminary rounds[edit]

Individual records[edit]


Round of 32 onwards[edit]

Preliminary rounds[edit]

Winners and finalists[edit]

List of finals[edit]

Season Champions Score Runners-up Venue City/Town Attendance Qualification to
2014 Adelaide United 1–0 Perth Glory Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide 16,142
2015 Melbourne Victory 2–0 Perth Glory Melbourne Rectangular Stadium Melbourne 15,098
2016 Melbourne City 1–0 Sydney FC Melbourne Rectangular Stadium Melbourne 18,751
2017 Sydney FC 2–1 (a.e.t.) Adelaide United Sydney Football Stadium Sydney 13,452
2018 Adelaide United 2–1 Sydney FC Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide 14,448
2019 Adelaide United 4–0 Melbourne City Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide 14,920
2020 Tournament cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia[15]
2021 Melbourne Victory 2–1 Central Coast Mariners Melbourne Rectangular Stadium Melbourne 15,343 2022 AFC Champions League play-off round
2022 Macarthur FC 2–0 Sydney United 58 Western Sydney Stadium Sydney 16,461 2023–24 AFC Cup group stage
2023 Sydney FC 3–1 Brisbane Roar Sydney Football Stadium Sydney 15,482 2024–25 AFC Champions League Two group stage

Results by team[edit]

Since its establishment, the Australia Cup has been won by 5 different teams, and 9 different teams have contested in the final.

Club Titles Runners-up Seasons Won Seasons Runners-up Total final appearances
Adelaide United 3 1 2014, 2018, 2019 2017 4
Sydney FC 2 2 2017, 2023 2016, 2018 4
Melbourne Victory 2 0 2015, 2021 2
Melbourne City 1 1 2016 2019 2
Macarthur FC 1 0 2022 1
Perth Glory 0 2 2014, 2015 2
Central Coast Mariners 0 1 2021 1
Sydney United 58 0 1 2022 1
Brisbane Roar 0 1 2023 1

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/s Club/s Ref.
2014 Spain Sergio Cirio Adelaide United [39]
2015 New Zealand Kosta Barbarouses Melbourne Victory [40]
2016 Uruguay Bruno Fornaroli Melbourne City [41]
2017 Poland Adrian Mierzejewski Sydney FC [42]
2018 Australia Craig Goodwin Adelaide United [43]
2019 Australia Al Hassan Toure Adelaide United [44]
2020 No competition [15]
2021 Australia Jake Brimmer
Australia Kye Rowles[d]
Melbourne Victory
Central Coast Mariners
2022 Mexico Ulises Dávila Macarthur FC [46]
2023 England Joe Lolley Sydney FC

Michael Cockerill Medal[edit]

Named after the late former journalist and broadcaster, the Michael Cockerill Medal recognizes the tournament's standout performer from a Member Federation Club.[47]

Year Player Club Ref.
2018 Burundi Elvis Kamsoba Avondale FC [47]
2019 England Fraser Hills Brisbane Strikers [48]
2020 No competition [15]
2021 Australia Finn Beakhurst Lions FC [49]
2022 England Joe Guest Oakleigh Cannons [50]
2023 Australia Hamish Gow North Eastern MetroStars [51]

Media coverage[edit]

In the tournament's first season, 10 matches were broadcast live on Fox Sports.[52] 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.[53]

In 2015 and 2016 Fox Sports streamed live all non-broadcast games via their online services.[54][55]

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[56] 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.[57]

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/Australia Cup all the way until the finals.[58]

Current broadcasters[edit]

Territory Network Ref.
Australia Australia Network 10 [58]
Paramount+ [59]
 Austria Sportdigital [59]
 Belize ESPN [59]
Canada Canada TSN [56]
 China PR KBALL [59]
 Germany Sportdigital [59]
 Guyana ESPN [59]
 Hong Kong MYTV Super [59]
 Jamaica ESPN [59]
 Macau Macau Cable [59]
 Myanmar Sky Net [59]
New Zealand New Zealand TBD
 Suriname ESPN [59]
  Switzerland Sportdigital [59]
 Taiwan Sportcast [59]
 United States ESPN [56]
 Vietnam VIEON [59]
Southeast Asia beIN Sports [59]
Pacific Islands Australia TV [59]
Pasifika TV [59]
ESPN [59]
Caribbean Flow Sports [59]
BT Sport [59]

Women's Australia Cup[edit]

In March 2023, Football Australia announced that it will be launching a Women's Australia Cup in 2024, with the competition to run in parallel with the men's Australia Cup. The competition will follow the men's format in being open to clubs from the community level all the way to the elite A-League Women, and will be the first of its kind for any code played by women in Australia, as well as acting as a qualification pathway for the AFC Women's Champions League.[60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ known as the FFA Cup until the 2021 season[1]
  2. ^ Wellington cannot qualify for AFC competitions since they come from New Zealand, which is part of the Oceania Football Confederation
  3. ^ Previously linked with the Brisbane-based Canale Cup.
  4. ^ Player on the losing team


  1. ^ "'Australia Cup' name to return to Australia's largest national knockout football competition". Football Australia. 5 February 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  2. ^ D'Alfonso, Daniel (3 June 2011). "FFA Cup to embrace country teams". Herald Sun. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  3. ^ "FFA Cup to introduce Hyundai A-League play-off process from 2020". Football Australia. 20 December 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2021.
  4. ^ "How the FFA Cup playoffs for A-League clubs work". Football Australia. 6 May 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  5. ^ "FFA Cup a new old tradition". Football Federation Australia.
  6. ^ "Live Chat with Lyall Recap". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 31 December 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  7. ^ Smithies, Tom (7 August 2012). "FFA Cup on hold due to cost concerns". Herald Sun. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  8. ^ "FFA Cup set for 2014 kick off". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Football Federation Australia appoints FFA Cup General Manager". Football Federation Australia. 14 October 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  10. ^ Gorman, Joe (24 February 2014). "Will the FFA Cup help Australia's 'old soccer' clubs?". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ a b "Open draw, ACL slot for winner among changes as FFA Cup returns". The World Game. SBS. 2 December 2020.
  13. ^ "AFC Executive Committee unveils dynamic enhancements to the AFC Club Competitions". the-AFC.com. Asian Football Confederation. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  14. ^ "A big AFC change has sparked a new A-Leagues table scramble: How it works". Australian Professional Leagues. 30 March 2023. Retrieved 2 April 2023.
  15. ^ a b c d "Coronavirus forces FFA Cup to be cancelled". The World Game. SBS. 7 July 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  16. ^ "FFA Cup round 5 Fixture Postponement". Football Australia. 3 May 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  17. ^ "FFA Cup 2021 Fixture Update". Football Australia. 22 July 2021. Retrieved 8 August 2021.
  18. ^ a b c "FFA Cup How Draw Works". Football Federation Australia. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Stand-alone Final and AFC Champions League prize to headline rebooted FFA Cup in 2021". Football Australia. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  20. ^ a b Weiner, David (2013). "Football Federation Australia reveals new FFA Cup competition and trophy". Fox Sports. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Cup spot the reward in PS4 NPL Finals Series". footballaustralia.com.au. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  22. ^ "Final Rounds slot allocations for Australia Cup 2022 confirmed". Football Australia. 23 February 2022. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  23. ^ "KAPPA QUEENSLAND CUP". Football Queensland. Retrieved 17 February 2024.
  24. ^ "Competition Rules 2020 - Annexure 29 FFA Cup WA Preliminary Rounds" (PDF). Football West. Retrieved 13 March 2019.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Stand-alone Final and AFC Champions League prize to headline rebooted FFA Cup in 2021". Football Federation Australia. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Australia Cup 2022 Key Dates Confirmed". Football Australia. 22 June 2022. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  27. ^ "Saturday night final for Westfield FFA Cup in 2015". Football Federation Australia. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  28. ^ Bossi, Dominic (24 February 2014). "FFA Cup: Minnows get a shot at A-League clubs". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  29. ^ a b "EPL trophy influenced FFA Cup design". Football Federation Australia. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  30. ^ a b "Westfield new naming rights partner of FFA Cup". Football Federation Australia. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Umbro launch official Westfield FFA Cup ball". Football Federation Australia. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  32. ^ "Vote on the new Mitre Westfield FFA Cup ball". Football Federation Australia. 27 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
  33. ^ "Introducing the new Mitre Australia ball for the FFA Cup 2021". Football Federation Australia. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 6 June 2021.
  34. ^ "The Mitre Ultimax Pro, the official match ball of the Australia Cup 2023 featuring entrant clubs listed on each panel". Football Australia. 27 June 2023. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  35. ^ "FFA Cup Match Center – Teviot Downs SC 0–31 Bayside United FC". sportstg.com. 2 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  36. ^ "FFA Cup Match Center – Albion Park White Eagles 31–0 Epping FC". sportstg.com. 14 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Fastest goal scored in FFA Cup history". Football Australia. 15 February 2021. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  38. ^ Stavroulakis, Mark (23 March 2020). "FFA CUP ROUND 2 – REPORTS UPDATED". Football New South Wales. Retrieved 25 March 2020.
  39. ^ "Adelaide United's Sergio Cirio winner of the FFA Cup 'treble'". Fox Sports. Retrieved 18 December 2014.
  40. ^ Lynch, Michael (7 November 2015). "Melbourne Victory get better of Perth Glory to win FFA Cup". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  41. ^ "Fornaroli claims medal for FFA Cup show". SBS. 30 November 2016.
  42. ^ Kemp, Emma (21 November 2017). "Mierzejewski awarded Mark Viduka Medal". ESPN FC.
  43. ^ Gatt, Ray (30 October 2018). "FFA Cup final: Craig Goodwin strikes gold for Reds". The Australian.
  44. ^ "Dream comes true for Al Hassan Toure as Adelaide lift FFA Cup again". The Guardian. 23 October 2019.
  45. ^ Harrington, Anna (5 February 2022). "Popovic delights in Victory FFA Cup glory". Seven News. For the first time, the Mark Viduka Medal for player of the match was a tie, with Victory midfielder Jake Brimmer and Mariners defender Kye Rowles, who only returned from his first Socceroos call-up on Friday, sharing the honour.
  46. ^ Rugari, Vince (1 October 2022). "Macarthur FC dedicate Australia Cup trophy to grieving captain Davila". The Sydney Morning Herald. Macarthur FC have dedicated their Australia Cup triumph to their grieving skipper Ulises Davila, who won the Mark Viduka Medal for best afield in Saturday night's final just four months after the sudden death of his wife - and then gave it straight to the club as a gesture of appreciation.
  47. ^ a b "Avondale ace Kamsoba claims Fox Sports' new FFA Cup honour". Football Federation Australia. 20 October 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  48. ^ 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.
  49. ^ FFA Cup [@FFACup] (5 February 2022). "Presenting your FFA Cup 2021 Mike Cockerill Medalist: Finn Beakhurst from @lionsfc1" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  50. ^ Australia Cup [@AustraliaCup] (1 October 2022). ".@oakcannonsfc Joe Guest is the 2022 Mike Cockerill Medalist" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  51. ^ Australia Cup (7 October 2023). "Congratulations to MetroStars' Hamish Gow for being awarded the 2023 Mike Cockerill Medal!". Facebook.
  52. ^ "2014 FFA Cup FAQs". Football Federation Australia. 24 February 2014. Archived from the original on 20 April 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
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  54. ^ "Fox Sports to Live stream Westfield FFA Cup matches". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 2 August 2015.
  55. ^ "FOX SPORTS to LIVE stream Westfield FFA Cup matches". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  56. ^ a b c "ESPN". 16 August 2018.
  57. ^ "News". 19 September 2017.
  58. ^ a b "Football Australia reaches landmark media rights agreement with 10 ViacomCBS". Football Australia. 15 June 2021.
  59. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "How to watch the Australia Cup". Football Australia. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  60. ^ Lewis, Samantha. "Football Australia to launch Women's Australia Cup in 2024 as part of Women's World Cup legacy". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 7 October 2023.

External links[edit]