Balkans Cup


The Balkans Cup was an international football competition for clubs from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. It was introduced in 1961 and was very popular in the 1960s (the 1967 final attracted 42,000 spectators),[1] being the second most important international club competition for clubs from the region (after the European Champions' Cup in which the champions could play; the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup originally attracted few teams from the region as many did not organise domestic cups regularly and only Yugoslavia had significant representation in the Fairs Cup).[1] The competition has been dominated by Bulgaria-based teams. The Bulgarian teams have won together a total number of 9 titles.

Balkans Cup
Founded1961; 60 years ago (1961)
Abolished1994; 27 years ago (1994)
RegionSoutheast Europe
Number of teamsVarious
Related competitionsMitropa Cup
Latin Cup
Last champions Samsunspor
(1st title)
Most successful club(s) Beroe Stara Zagora (4 titles)

It later declined after Balkan clubs obtained more representation in the two minor UEFA competitions, in contrast to the (much older but also defunct) Balkan Cup (not Balkans) for national teams.

Editions


Finals on Home and Away basis, except noted otherwise.
a → first leg of the final
Year(s)
of Edition
Nr of Clubs
& Format
Winner
(or Champion in Group Format)
Results of Finals
(or Points in Group Format)
Finalist
(or Runner-up in Group Format)
001960–6100
Details
5
type-A
Steagul Roşu Braşov 13 – 8 Points RR Levski Sofia
001961–6300
Details
8
type-B
Olympiacos a 1–0 / 0–1 / 1–0
Play-off match in Istanbul, Turkey.
Levski Sofia
001963–6400
Details
Rapid București 2–0 / 1–1 a Spartak Plovdiv
001964–6600
Details
Rapid București a 3–3 / 2–0 Farul Constanţa
001966–6700
Details
Fenerbahçe 1–0 / 1–2 a / 3–1
Play-off match in Istanbul, Turkey.[2]
AEK Athens
001967–6800
Details
Beroe Stara Zagora a 3–0 / 3–4 Spartak Sofia
1969
Details
6
type-C
Beroe Stara Zagora 3–0 / 0–1 a
2nd Leg: Dinamo walked off while losing 0–1.
Dinamo Tirana
1970
Details
Partizani Tirana 3–0 / 1–1 a
2nd Leg: Beroe did not show up.
Beroe Stara Zagora
1971
Details
Panionios a 2–1 / 1–1 Besa Kavajë
1972
Details
Trakia Plovdiv a 5–0 / 0–4 Vardar Skopje
1973
Details
Lokomotiv Sofia 2–0 / 1–1 a ASA Târgu Mureș
1974
Details
Akademik Sofia a 2–1 / 0–0 Vardar Skopje
1975
Details
Radnički Niš a 1–0 / 2–1 Eskişehirspor
1976
Details
Dinamo Zagreb a 3–1 / 2–3 Sportul Studențesc
1977
Details
Panathinaikos 2–1 / 0–0 a Slavia Sofia
001977–7800
Details
NK Rijeka 4–1 / 0–1 a Jiul Petroşani
001979–8000
Details
Sportul Studențesc a 2–0 / 1–1 NK Rijeka
001980–8100
Details
Velež Mostar 6–2 / 6–5 a Trakia Plovdiv
001981–8300
Details
Beroe Stara Zagora a 3–0 / 3–1 17 Nëntori Tirana
001983–8400
Details
3
type-D
Beroe Stara Zagora 6 – 4 Points RR Argeş Piteşti
001984–8500
Details
8
type-E
Iraklis Thessaloniki 4–1 / 1–3 a Argeş Piteşti
1986
Details
Slavia Sofia a 3–0 / 2–3 Panionios
001987–8800
Details
10
type-F
Slavia Sofia a 5–1 / 1–0 Argeş Piteşti
001988–8900
Details
6
type-C
OFI Crete 3–1
One Final in Serres, Greece.
Radnički Niš
001989–9000 The Balkans Cup did not take place due to the Romanian Revolution of 1989.00
001990–9100
Details
6
type-G
Inter Sibiu 1–0 (a.e.t) / 0–0 a Budućnost Podgorica
001991–9200
Details
5
type-H
Sarıyer 1–0 / 0–0 a Oţelul Galaţi
001992–9300
Details
6
type-G
Edessaikos 3–1 / 0–1 a Etar Veliko Tarnovo
001993–9400
Details
4
type-I
Samsunspor 2–0 / 3–0 a PAS Giannina
  • Competition's formats:
type-A: One group of 5 clubs.
type-B: Two groups of 4, top clubs qualifying for the final.
type-C: Two groups of 3, top clubs qualifying for the final.
type-D: One group of 3 clubs.
type-E: Knock-out (Quarterfinals → Semifinals → Final).
type-F: Two groups of 3 and one group of 4, top clubs plus the best runner-up qualifying for the Knock-out Semifinals.
type-G: Knock-out (Preliminary round qualifying 2 clubs out of 4 → Semifinals → Final).
type-H: Knock-out (Preliminary round qualifying 1 club out of 2 → Semifinals → Final).
type-I: Knock-out (Semifinals → Final).

Performances


By club

When sorted by year of winning or losing final(s), the table is sorted by the year of each club's first final.

Club Winners Finalists Finals Years of Winning Years of Losing Entries Notes
Beroe Stara Zagora410 4[3]1968, 1969, 1983, 1984197071984 Top Spot in Group
Slavia Sofia2131986, 198819775
Rapid București2-21964, 196602Winner in Both Entries
Panionios112197119863
Trakia Plovdiv112197219812Reached Final in Both Entries
Radnički Niš112197519893
NK Rijeka112197819802Reached Final in Both Entries
Sportul Studențesc112198019763
Olympiacos1-1196303
Fenerbahçe1-1196704
Partizani Tirana1-1197005
Lokomotiv Sofia1-1197304
Akademik Sofia1-1197402
Dinamo Zagreb1-1197601
Panathinaikos1-1197701
Velež Mostar1-1198101
Iraklis Thessaloniki1-1198503
OFI Crete1-1198902
Inter Sibiu1-1199101
Sarıyer1-1199201
Edessaikos1-1199301
Samsunspor1-1199402
Steagul Roşu Braşov1-0 -[4]1961041961 Top Spot in Group
Argeş Piteşti-20 2[3]01984, 1985, 198831984 Runner-up in Group
Vardar Skopje-2201972, 19744
Levski Sofia-10 1[4]01961, 196331961 Runner-up in Group
Spartak Plovdiv-11019642
Farul Constanţa-11019664
AEK Athens-11019674
Spartak Sofia-11019681
Dinamo Tirana-11019695
Besa Kavajë-11019712
Târgu Mureș-11019732
Eskişehirspor-11019753
Jiul Petroşani-11019781
17 Nëntori Tirana-11019834
Budućnost Podgorica-11019912
Oţelul Galaţi-11019921
Etar Veliko Tarnovo-11019933
PAS Giannina-11019942
Total28026052052 Teams in Finals, since 1961 and 1983–84 editions were contested in Group Format.

By country

Clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia competed as part of SFR Yugoslavia.

Country 00Winners 0Finalists Finals Clubs won in final(s) Clubs did not win in final(s)
Bulgaria 9 0 7[4] 0 15[5] Beroe Stara Zagora (4)
Slavia Sofia (2)
Trakia Plovdiv (1)
Lokomotiv Sofia (1)
Akademik Sofia (1)
Levski Sofia (1 + Runner-up spot in 1961.)
Spartak Plovdiv (1) Spartak Sofia (1)
Beroe Stara Zagora (1)
Slavia Sofia (1) Trakia Plovdiv (1)
Etar Veliko Tarnovo (1)
Greece 6 3 09 Olympiacos Piraeus (1)
Panionios Smyrna (Athens) (1)
Panathinaikos Athens (1)
Iraklis Thessaloniki (1)
OFI Crete (1)
Edessaikos Edessa (1)
AEK Athens (1)
Panionios Smyrna (Athens) (1)
PAS Giannina Ioannina (1)
Romania 5 0 7[3] 0 11[5] Rapid București (2)
Steagul Roşu Braşov (1)
Sportul Studențesc București (1)
Inter Sibiu (1)
Argeş Piteşti (2 + Runner-up spot in 1983–84.)
Farul Constanţa (1) ASA 1962 Târgu Mureș (1)
Sportul Studențesc București (1)
Jiul Petroşani (1) Oţelul Galaţi (1)
Yugoslavia 4 5 09
Dinamo Zagreb (1) NK Rijeka (1)
Radnički Niš (1)
Velež Mostar (1)
___
___

NK Rijeka (1)
Radnički Niš (1)
——
Vardar Skopje (2)
Budućnost Podgorica (1)
2 1 3
1 1 2
1 - 1
- 2 2
- 1 1
Turkey 3 1 04 Fenerbahçe İstanbul (1)
Sarıyer İstanbul (1)
Samsunspor (Samsun) (1)
Eskişehirspor (Eskişehir) (1)
Albania 1 3 04 Partizani Tirana (1) Dinamo Tirana (1) Besa Kavajë (1)
17 Nëntori Tirana (1)
Total2802605252 Teams in Finals, since 1961 and 1983–84 editions were contested in Group Format.

Top performer by country:

Country Club 0Winners Finalists 0Finals Entries Notes
BULBeroe Stara Zagora410 4[3]7Balkans Cup record holder in wins, finals reached and entries.
ROURapid București222
YUGNK Rijeka1122Radnički Niš same performance in 3 entries.
GREPanionios Smyrna (Athens)1123
TURSarıyer İstanbul111Samsunspor and Fenerbahçe 1 win in 2 and 4 entries respectively.
ALBPartizani Tirana115

Participation


By club

In the 33 years of its existence, a total of 89 clubs from 6 countries appeared in the 28 Balkans Cup editions. Two of them, both Turkish, withdrawn their participation before playing a single match: Zonguldakspor in 1980–81 and Trabzonspor in 1986. Sides with 4 entries or more:

Club Country Entries Winners Finalists Finals First Edition Last Edition Notes
Beroe Stara Zagora BUL7410 4[3]1967–681992–93
Slavia Sofia BUL521319771987–88
Partizani ALB51119611979–80
Dinamo Tirana ALB5111961–631987–88
Galatasaray TUR51961–631990–91Also Withdrew in 1977–78 and 1979–80.
Steagul Roşu Braşov ROU410 -[4]19611972
Fenerbahçe TUR41119611967–68Also Withdrew in 1963–64.
Lokomotiv Sofia BUL4111966–671988–89
Vardar Skopje YUG4221964–661974
Farul Constanţa ROU4111964–661975
AEK Athens GRE41119611980–81
17 Nëntori Tirana ALB4111964–661990–91

By country

Bulgarian and Turkish sides were present at each one of the 28 Balkans Cup editions, while Yugoslavian were absent 9 times in total, entering just twice during its last decade of existence (ironically, reaching both finals). Generally, South Slavs (both Football Association and clubs) were never keen supporters of the competition, as they had neither been enthusiastic about the national teams' Balkan Cup, too.

00Bulgaria00 Turkey 0Romania0 00Greece00 Albania Yugoslavia
000Number of different sides that entered151718151212
000Editions of Balkans Cup that
[1]Country was represented by at least one club282827272620
[2]Country's club withdrew before playing a match005001001
[3]Country was still represented by another club00100100
[4]Country's clubs competed (=[1]-[2]+[3])282427272619
000Country's clubs were absent (=28 total editions-[4])00401010209
000Years/editions that country's clubs were absent1977 to 1981
1986
1993–94
(Last Cup)
1983–841983 to 19851961 (First Cup)
1983 to 1988
1991–end
[5]Editions a club quit after playing at least one match01050104001
000Editions a club withdrew or quit (=[2]+[5])01100105002
[6]Editions with double entry08050603010
[7]Total entries (=[4]-[3]+[6])362833292719
[8]Cups won090305060104
000% success in winning the Cup (=[8]÷[7]×100)25%11%15%21%04%21%
[9]Finals reached0 15040 11[5]090409
000% success in reaching the final (=[9]÷[7]×100)'42%14%33%31%15%47%

Despite the fact that in each edition there was at least one Turkish side initially entering, in no less than 5 occasions it withdrew before playing a single match and in 5 more quit during group stage, after unsuccessful results. Greeks followed with 1 withdrawal and 4 quits, while clubs from all countries had sporadically terminated their participation in some early stage of the competition, except for Albanian. Multiple winner and several other records holder Beroe Stara Zagora, became the only Bulgarian side ever to withdraw or quit a Balkans Cup match and the single one to do so in a final, by not showing up for 1970 edition's return leg against Partizani Tirana of Albania, following a 1–1 draw at home.

See also


References


  1. "Balkans Cup". rsssf.com. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  2. Draw for the venue was held by FIFA President Sir Stanley Rous.
  3. 1983–84 edition not included, since contested in Group Format.
  4. 1961 edition not included, since contested in Group Format.
  5. 1961 and 1983–84 editions not included, since contested in Group Format.