Open main menu

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]

Balkans Cup
Founded1961; 58 years ago (1961)
Abolished1994; 25 years ago (1994)
RegionSoutheast Europe
Number of teamsVarious
Related competitionsBalkan Cup
Last championsTurkey Samsunspor
(1st title)
Most successful club(s)Bulgaria 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.

EditionsEdit

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 Bucureşti 2–0 / 1–1 a   Spartak Plovdiv
001964–6600
Details
  Rapid Bucureşti 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).

PerformancesEdit

By clubEdit

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 Zagora 4 1 0 4[3] 1968, 1969, 1983, 1984 1970 7 1984 Top Spot in Group
  Slavia Sofia 2 1 3 1986, 1988 1977 5
  Rapid Bucureşti 2 - 2 1964, 1966 0 2 Winner in Both Entries
  Panionios 1 1 2 1971 1986 3
  Trakia Plovdiv 1 1 2 1972 1981 2 Reached Final in Both Entries
  Radnički Niš 1 1 2 1975 1989 3
  NK Rijeka 1 1 2 1978 1980 2 Reached Final in Both Entries
  Sportul Studențesc 1 1 2 1980 1976 3
  Olympiacos 1 - 1 1963 0 3
  Fenerbahçe 1 - 1 1967 0 4
  Partizani Tirana 1 - 1 1970 0 5
  Lokomotiv Sofia 1 - 1 1973 0 4
  Akademik Sofia 1 - 1 1974 0 2
  Dinamo Zagreb 1 - 1 1976 0 1
  Panathinaikos 1 - 1 1977 0 1
  Velež Mostar 1 - 1 1981 0 1
  Iraklis Thessaloniki 1 - 1 1985 0 3
  OFI Crete 1 - 1 1989 0 2
  Inter Sibiu 1 - 1 1991 0 1
  Sarıyer 1 - 1 1992 0 1
  Edessaikos 1 - 1 1993 0 1
  Samsunspor 1 - 1 1994 0 2
  Steagul Roşu Braşov 1 - 0 -[4] 1961 0 4 1961 Top Spot in Group
  Argeş Piteşti - 2 0 2[3] 0 1984, 1985, 1988 3 1984 Runner-up in Group
  Vardar Skopje - 2 2 0 1972, 1974 4
  Levski Sofia - 1 0 1[4] 0 1961, 1963 3 1961 Runner-up in Group
  Spartak Plovdiv - 1 1 0 1964 2
  Farul Constanţa - 1 1 0 1966 4
  AEK Athens - 1 1 0 1967 4
  Spartak Sofia - 1 1 0 1968 1
  Dinamo Tirana - 1 1 0 1969 5
  Besa Kavajë - 1 1 0 1971 2
  Târgu Mureș - 1 1 0 1973 2
  Eskişehirspor - 1 1 0 1975 3
  Jiul Petroşani - 1 1 0 1978 1
  17 Nëntori Tirana - 1 1 0 1983 4
  Budućnost Podgorica - 1 1 0 1991 2
  Oţelul Galaţi - 1 1 0 1992 1
  Etar Veliko Tarnovo - 1 1 0 1993 3
  PAS Giannina - 1 1 0 1994 2
Total 280 260 520 52 Teams in Finals, since 1961 and 1983–84 editions were contested in Group Format.

By countryEdit

Clubs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, 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 Bucureşti (2)
Steagul Roşu Braşov (1)
Sportul Studențesc Bucureşti (1)
Inter Sibiu (1)
Argeş Piteşti (2 + Runner-up spot in 1983–84.)
Farul Constanţa (1) ASA 1962 Târgu Mureș (1)
Sportul Studențesc Bucureşti (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)
Total 280 260 52 52 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
  BUL Beroe Stara Zagora 4 1 0 4[3] 7 Balkans Cup record holder in wins, finals reached and entries.
  ROU Rapid Bucureşti 2 - 2 2
  YUG NK Rijeka 1 1 2 2 Radnički Niš   same performance in 3 entries.
  GRE Panionios Smyrna (Athens) 1 1 2 3
  TUR Sarıyer İstanbul 1 - 1 1 Samsunspor and Fenerbahçe   1 win in 2 and 4 entries respectively.
  ALB Partizani Tirana 1 - 1 5

ParticipationEdit

By clubEdit

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   BUL 7 4 1 0 4[3] 1967–68 1992–93
Slavia Sofia   BUL 5 2 1 3 1977 1987–88
Partizani   ALB 5 1 - 1 1961 1979–80
Dinamo Tirana   ALB 5 - 1 1 1961–63 1987–88
Galatasaray   TUR 5 - - - 1961–63 1990–91 Also Withdrew in 1977–78 and 1979–80.
Steagul Roşu Braşov   ROU 4 1 - 0 -[4] 1961 1972
Fenerbahçe   TUR 4 1 - 1 1961 1967–68 Also Withdrew in 1963–64.
Lokomotiv Sofia   BUL 4 1 - 1 1966–67 1988–89
Vardar Skopje   YUG 4 - 2 2 1964–66 1974
Farul Constanţa   ROU 4 - 1 1 1964–66 1975
AEK Athens   GRE 4 - 1 1 1961 1980–81
17 Nëntori Tirana   ALB 4 - 1 1 1964–66 1990–91

By countryEdit

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 entered 15 17 18 15 12 12
000Editions of Balkans Cup that
[1] Country was represented by at least one club 28 28 27 27 26 20
[2] Country's club withdrew before playing a match 0 05 0 01 0 01
[3] Country was still represented by another club 0 01 0 01 0 0
[4] Country's clubs competed (=[1]-[2]+[3]) 28 24 27 27 26 19
000Country's clubs were absent (=28 total editions-[4]) 0 04 01 01 02 09
000Years/editions that country's clubs were absent 1977 to 1981
1986
1993–94
(Last Cup)
1983–84 1983 to 1985 1961 (First Cup)
1983 to 1988
1991–end
[5] Editions a club quit after playing at least one match 01 05 01 04 0 01
000Editions a club withdrew or quit (=[2]+[5]) 01 10 01 05 0 02
[6] Editions with double entry 08 05 06 03 01 0
[7] Total entries (=[4]-[3]+[6]) 36 28 33 29 27 19
[8] Cups won 09 03 05 06 01 04
000% success in winning the Cup (=[8]÷[7]×100) 25% 11% 15% 21% 04% 21%
[9] Finals reached 0 15 04 0 11 [5] 09 04 09
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 alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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

External linksEdit