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The Baltic Cup (Estonian: Balti turniir, Latvian: Baltijas kauss, Lithuanian: Baltijos taurė) is an international football competition contested by the national teams of the Baltic statesEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Also Finland has participated as a guest twice. Though originally held annually the competition has been biennial since 2008, running on even-numbered years. It is one of the oldest football tournaments for national teams in Europe after the British Home Championship, and the oldest one still organized.[1]

Baltic Cup
Baltic Cup logo.png
Founded1928
RegionBaltic (UEFA)
Number of teams3
(+ possible guests)
Current champions Latvia
(13th title)
Most successful team(s) Latvia
(13 titles)
2018 Baltic Cup

HistoryEdit

As Estonia had unofficially declared itself the Baltic football champion in 1925, 1926 and 1927 based on matches played with Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland it was decided in 1928 to organize an official tournament. Though Poland and Finland were invited to join the tournament took place between the three Baltic nations.[2]

The tournament was intended to improve relations between the nations, but intrigues around the organization and budget questions worked against this noble goal. The hosts always did everything to wear out their competitors. In 1933 Lithuanian hosts surprised the officials with a tour to local brewery in the morning before Lithuania–Latvia match. Estonian newspaper Päevaleht reported that the Finnish referee for the match was really jolly, but did horrible job, mostly favouring Lithuanian hosts. The rules demanded that at least two wins were necessary to win the championship. Both Lithuania–Estonia and Lithuania–Latvia matches had been drawn but stopped due to darkness. In the team meeting Latvia demanded that Lithuania–Estonia match should be re-played first. Latvia was hoping for an advantage against tired Lithuanian team in their match. Lithuania and Estonia disagreed noting that Latvia had won their match against Estonia, so Latvian win against Lithuania would grant Latvians the championship and end the tournament. Consensus was not reached and Latvian team left the same day. The championship was not awarded.[2][3]

The feud led to the cancellation of the 1934 tournament, but the championship returned for 1935. Rules were changed so extra matches were now only held between leading teams if deciding champion.[4]

ResultsEdit

Year Host Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place
1928   Tallinn   Latvia   Estonia   Lithuania
1929   Riga   Estonia   Latvia   Lithuania
1930   Kaunas   Lithuania   Latvia   Estonia
1931   Tallinn   Estonia (2)   Latvia   Lithuania
1932   Riga   Latvia (2)   Lithuania   Estonia
1933   Kaunas Champion undecided due to disagreements over match times.
1934 Not organised due to disagreements over the 1933 competition.
1935   Tallinn   Lithuania (2)   Latvia   Estonia
1936   Riga   Latvia (3)   Estonia   Lithuania
1937   Kaunas   Latvia (4)   Estonia   Lithuania
1938   Tallinn   Estonia (3)   Latvia   Lithuania
1939 Not organised due to strained sports-relations between Latvia and Lithuania after a controversial basketball game.
1940–1990 Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia occupied by Soviet Union.
1991   Klaipėda   Lithuania (3)   Latvia   Estonia
1992   Liepāja   Lithuania (4)   Latvia   Estonia
1993   Pärnu   Latvia (5)   Estonia   Lithuania
1994   Vilnius   Lithuania (5)   Latvia   Estonia
1995   Riga   Latvia (6)   Lithuania   Estonia
1996   Narva   Lithuania (6)   Estonia   Latvia
1997   Vilnius   Lithuania (7)   Latvia   Estonia
1998   Liepāja
  Valga
  Viljandi
  Lithuania (8)   Latvia   Estonia
2001   Riga   Latvia (7)   Lithuania   Estonia
2003   Tallinn
  Valga
  Latvia (8)   Lithuania   Estonia
2005   Kaunas   Lithuania (9)   Latvia Estonia did not participate due to scheduling conflicts.[5]
2008   Jūrmala
  Riga
  Latvia (9)   Lithuania   Estonia
2010   Kaunas   Lithuania (10)   Latvia   Estonia
2012   Tartu
  Võru
  Latvia (10)   Finland   Estonia   Lithuania
2014   Ventspils
  Liepāja
  Latvia (11)   Lithuania   Finland   Estonia
2016   Klaipėda
  Liepāja
  Tallinn
  Latvia (12)   Lithuania   Estonia
2018   Rakvere
  Riga
  Vilnius
  Latvia (13)   Estonia   Lithuania

Medal summaryEdit

As of 2018.[6]
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1  Latvia1312126
2  Lithuania107825
3  Estonia361524
4  Finland0112
Totals (4 nations)26262577

StatisticsEdit

As of 2018. Including the 1933 tournament, but excluding the reply match played on 5 September 1933.
Rank Team Apps Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1   Latvia 27 53 28 18 7 85 45 +40 102
2   Lithuania 27 53 19 12 22 75 88 −13 69
3   Estonia 26 52 10 13 29 54 83 −29 43
4   Finland 2 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 7

Baltic ChampionshipsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Eiropas vecākā starptautiskā futbola turnīra vēstures līkloči un ceļš pretim jaunai atzinībai". Latvijas futbols. Maijs 2014. Latvijas Futbola federācija. 2014-05-20. Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  2. ^ a b "Eesti välispoliitika Balti suund 1926–1934" (PDF). University of Tartu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Balti turniir lõppes fiaskoga". dea.digar.ee. Maa Hääl. 6 September 1933. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ Allika, Andrus. "Vilniuses algas Balti turniir". Õhtuleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  5. ^ "EJL tegi ettepaneku uuendusteks Balti turniiril". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Baltic Cup Overview in rsssf.com". almis.sritis.lt. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Baltic Cup" (in Estonian). Estonian Football Association.

External linksEdit