Iraq FA Cup
|Number of teams||39 (2015–16)|
|Domestic cup(s)||Al-Muthabara Cup|
|International cup(s)||AFC Cup
Gulf Cup Winners' Cup
|Current champions||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (4th title)
|Most successful club(s)||Al-Zawra'a
The tournament was first held in its current format in the 1975–76 season. Entry is open to teams from the Iraqi Premier League and the Iraq Division One. It allows teams from the lower divisions to have a chance of eliminating the Premier League teams or even to win the cup, although no lower division team has been able to get past the semifinals. The winners of the competition are awarded a place in the Al-Muthabara Cup against the league champions at the start of the next season, as well as a place in the next season's AFC Cup and Gulf Cup Winners' Cup tournaments.
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are the current holders of the cup, having beaten Al-Zawra'a 2–0 in the 2016 final to win the cup for the fourth time. Al-Zawra'a have the record for most FA Cup wins in their history with a total of 14.
Pairings for each round are drawn at random. There are no seeds and the draw for each round is not made until after the scheduled dates for the previous round. The draw also determines which teams will play at home.
The preliminary round, round of 32 and round of 16 are played as a single leg and if match ends in a draw, it gets settled through extra time and penalty shoot-outs. The quarterfinals and the semifinals are played as two legs and if the two teams draw on aggregate, it gets settled through the away goals rule. If the teams are still level, then extra time and penalty shoot-outs decide who goes through. The final goes back to being played as a single leg; if the final is a draw then it goes straight to a penalty shootout, with no extra time period. There are a total of 6 rounds in the competition - one preliminary round for lower division teams, followed by three proper rounds, plus the semifinals and final.
In the first edition of the tournament, there were 28 teams; by 1996, the number of competing teams had reached 74. In the 2001–02 season, there were 82 teams and in 2012, it was reduced to 40. The most recent edition of the competition saw 39 teams compete.
The winners of the tournament qualify for the AFC Cup and the Gulf Cup Winners' Cup as well as the single-match Al-Muthabara Cup against the Iraqi Premier League champions (or the league runners-up, if the FA Cup winners have won the double).
After the Iraq Football Association was formed on 8 October 1948, a new tournament was founded by the name of the Iraq Cup. Six teams from Baghdad, Kirkuk, Mosul and Basra participated in the competition, where they were split into the North group and South group. The winners of the two groups faced each other in a final match, where Sharikat Naft Al-Basra won 1–0 over Al-Kuliya Al-Askariya. In 1956, a new double-elimination tournament was founded by the name of the Iraq FA Championship. It had two divisions and its entry was only restricted to clubs from Baghdad. The championship continued for five seasons until 1961. However, these tournaments were considered as the league championship, even though they were played in a knockout format. It wasn't until the Cup of the Institutes of Baghdad was established in the 1973–74 season that a single-elimination tournament, that was considered as the cup rather than the league, was formed. However, it was open to teams from Baghdad only. The Iraq FA Cup was finally established in 1975 and was open to clubs from all around the nation.
Iraq FA Cup
Before the opening of the Al-Shaab Stadium, the finals of the cup were played in the Al-Kashafa Stadium. Considering its position in Baghdad, Al-Shaab Stadium was the choice of the FA for the finals so the fans would easily reach it.
The first club to win the double was Al-Zawra'a, winning the 1975–76 Iraqi National League and the 1975–76 Iraq FA Cup. Overall, Al-Zawra'a has eight doubles while Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya and Al-Rasheed have two and Al-Talaba have one.
In the 1976–77 season, the tournament wasn't held and in the 1984–85 season, it was cancelled at the semi-final stage due to the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification but the season after was not held. It was also cancelled in the 2000–01 season.
Since 2003, the cup stopped and didn't come back until 2012, when the 2012–13 Iraq FA Cup was held. It was cancelled midway through the Round of 32 due to scheduling problems. It wasn't held again until 2015, where the FA announced the new 2015–16 Iraq FA Cup that started on 5 October 2015. The 2016 Iraq FA Cup Final was the first Iraq FA Cup final held for 13 years.
Records and giant-killings
Because of the entry of clubs from the Iraq Division One and the Iraq Premier League, some small clubs knocked out a number of the popular clubs. In the 1977–78 edition of the cup, the second team of Al-Tayaran (Al-Tayaran B), who played in Division One, defeated Al-Jaish, that finished in fourth place in the 1977–78 Iraqi National League, in the first round of the tournament, eliminating them after their first match in the cup with a 1–0 win. In the same edition, Al-Zawra'a were defeated by the Division One team Al-Bahri in the quarterfinals, 2–1.
In the 1989–90 edition, Al-Rasheed, that won the 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89 seasons of the league and also won the 1986–87 and 1987–88 editions of the cup, were defeated by Al-Tijara, who played in Division One, in the Round of 16, 3–2 on aggregate. In the 1992–93 edition, Al-Tijara pulled off another shock by defeating giants Al-Shorta in the first round, 2–1, and they also defeat Al-Jaish in the Round of 16 with the same result. In the 2015–16 Iraq FA Cup, Division One club Al-Hussein defeated Al-Zawra'a 2–1 in the first leg of the quarter-final, which was a great upset considering the fact that Al-Zawra'a won the 2015–16 Iraqi Premier League without losing a single match. However, they couldn't complete the upset in the second leg as they lost 3–1 to Al-Zawra'a and were knocked out 4–3 on aggregate.
No team from outside of Baghdad has ever managed to reach the final, while only four teams have participated in every edition of the tournament from 1975–76 up until 2015–16 (Al-Zawra'a, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Amanat Baghdad and Al-Mina'a). The biggest win ever recorded in the Iraq FA Cup was a match between Al-Jaish and Babil on 12 September 1987, which ended 14–0 to Al-Jaish.
|1977–78||Al-Tayaran||1–1 (5–3 pen.)||Al-Shorta|
|1979–80||Al-Jaish||1–1 (4–2 pen.)||Al-Talaba|
|1983–84||Al-Sinaa||0–0 (5–4 pen.)||Al-Shabab|
|1984–85||Abandoned at semi-finals|
|1986–87||Al-Rasheed||1–1 (4–3 pen.)||Al-Jaish|
|1987–88||Al-Rasheed||1–1 (4–3 pen.)||Al-Zawra'a|
|1989–90||Al-Zawra'a||0–0 (2–1 pen.)||Al-Shabab|
|1990–91||Al-Zawra'a||1–1 (4–3 pen.)||Al-Jaish|
|1996–97||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||1–1 (8–7 pen.)||Al-Shorta|
|1997–98||Al-Zawra'a||1–1 (4–3 pen.)||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|1999–00||Al-Zawra'a||0–0 (4–3 pen.)||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya|
|2012–13||Abandoned during round of 32|
Performance by club
|Club||Wins||Runners-up||Winning seasons||Running-up seasons|
|Al-Zawra'a||14||2||1975–76, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–00||1987–88, 2015–16|
|Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||4||3||1977–78, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2015–16||1988–89, 1997–98, 1999–00|
|Al-Talaba||2||6||2001–02, 2002–03||1979–80, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1998–99|
|Al-Jaish||2||4||1979–80, 1982–83||1978–79, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1994–95|
|Al-Shorta||–||5||–||1977–78, 1995–96, 1996–97, 2001–02, 2002–03|
|Al-Shabab||–||3||–||1982–83, 1983–84, 1989–90|
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