The Football Federation Australia Cup, commonly known as the FFA Cup, is the national soccer knockout cup competition in Australia. This annual competition is organised by the Football Federation Australia.
|Organising body||Football Federation Australia|
|Founded||24 February 2014|
|Number of teams||765 (in 2020)|
|Current champions||Adelaide United|
|Most successful club(s)||Adelaide United (3 titles)|
|Television broadcasters||Fox Sports|
|2020 FFA Cup|
The FFA Cup comprises teams from the top division, the A-League, as well as those from lower tiers in the Australian soccer league system. Teams enter in progressive stages, with qualifying rounds culminating with the competition proper, starting with the Round of 32. Each state and territory-based member federation is granted a team allocation for entry into the main competition, joining clubs from the A-League. Every Australian-based A-League club was initially guaranteed entry into the Round of 32; following the latest expansion of the league, a play-off will be conducted between the lowest-ranked teams to ensure that only 10 A-League teams achieve qualification.
Since the Australian soccer league system currently provides no promotion and relegation mechanism between the first and lower divisions, the competition's appeal partially stems from the fact that it is the only way that A-League and lower-tier clubs can play competitive matches.
Adelaide United has three titles while Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Sydney FC have won one title each. The current champions are Adelaide United after defeating Melbourne City in the 2019 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. The Australia Cup was founded in 1962 but was abolished in 1968 after just seven seasons of competition. In 1977 a knockout competition was founded to run in parallel with the now defunct National Soccer League (NSL). The NSL Cup involved Australian association football clubs competing in the then top-flight NSL and limited clubs from state based competitions. The NSL Cup ceased after the 1996–97 tournament. An A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup competition ran between 2005–2008 but involved only the teams from the A-League and was not a traditional knockout format.
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. 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. On 14 October 2013, FFA announced that it had appointed Sam Chadwick as General Manager of the FFA Cup. On 24 February 2014, the FFA Cup was formally launched by David Gallop.
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. 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.
Up to and including the 2019 edition, the 32 teams that make up the FFA 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.
The number of clubs representing each federation is determined by player registration numbers in each jurisdiction, and reviewed annually. The Northern Territory did not participate in the inaugural competition, however have been represented since 2015.
From the 2015 edition of the competition onwards the National Premier Leagues Champion of the previous year, also qualifies 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.
|Federation||Affiliated Competition||Round of 32 Qualifiers|
|Football Federation Australia||A-League||10||10||10||10||10||10||–|
|National Premier Leagues||–||1||1||1||1||1||–|
|Capital Football (ACT)||Federation Cup||1||1||1||1||1||1||–|
|Northern NSW Football||Previously linked with the NNSWF State Cup||2||2||2||2||2||2||–|
|Football NSW||Waratah Cup||7||5||5||5||5||5||–|
|Football Federation Northern Territory||Sport Minister's Cup||–||1||1||1||1||1||–|
|Football Queensland||Previously linked with the Canale Cup||4||4||4||4||4||4||–|
|Football Federation South Australia||Federation Cup||1||1||1||1||1||1||–|
|Football Federation Tasmania||Milan Lakoseljac Cup||1||1||1||1||1||1||–|
|Football Federation Victoria||Dockerty Cup||4||4||4||4||4||4||–|
|Football West (WA)||State Cup||2||2||2||2||2||2||–|
The competition proper is a 32-team knockout tournament with pairings for each round drawn based on a seeding system to ensure progression of teams from Member Federations.
Replays are not used in the FFA Cup. In the event of a match being drawn after the completion of 90 minutes, extra time is played, then a penalty shoot-out if required. In some early rounds, games can go straight to penalties if tied at 90 minutes.
A draw for each round is made from the Round of 32 to the Semi-Finals. Clubs are allocated into various pots depending on the clubs method of qualification and the specific round of competition. The draw also determines which teams will play at home. If a Member Federation Club draws an A-League team, the Member Federation Club will host the fixture. However, if two clubs at the same level are drawn together, the first teams drawn will host.
Unlike the usual application of seeds – where a draw is made to ensure that the top seeds don't meet until the latter stages of the competition – the draw for the FFA Cup is seeded in such a way that it ensures the progression of Member Federation Clubs to later rounds. This ensures at least three Member Federation Clubs will qualify for the Quarter Finals with one club guaranteed to make the Semi Final.
- 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.
- 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".
- Since 2016, the Final has returned to being a mid-week fixture.
- For the 2021 edition, the bottom four teams in the 2020–21 A-League season will playoff (9th vs. 12th, and 10th vs. 11th), to maintain the total number of A-League teams at 10 for the Round of 32.
At the end of the final, the winning team is presented with a trophy, known as the "FFA Cup Trophy", which they will hold until the following year's final.
The trophy is a large traditional cup style trophy with an intentional resemblance to the historical Australia Cup trophy which ran from 1962 to 1968. The cup itself is made from silver-solded brass, which is plated with 24 carat-gold and sterling silver. 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 footballs, one as the base of the cup and the other as a trim, on the very top of the cup lid.
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".
Between 2014–2016 Umbro supplied match balls for all FFA Cup matches. The FFA Cup Match Ball, the Umbro Neo 150 Elite, was specially designed for the competition. Between 2017–2019 Mitre will supply the Mitre Delta Hyperseam as the official FFA Cup match ball after a public vote to select between three alternate ball designs.
In the tournament's first season, 10 matches were broadcast live on Fox Sports. One of which a Round of 32 match, two Round of 16 matches, and all matches from the quarter-finals onwards. In addition, FFA Cup draws from the Round of 32 onwards were also televised live on Fox Sports. In 2015 and 2016 Fox Sports streamed live all non-broadcast games via their online services.
Internationally, at least 10 FFA Cup matches will be 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.
From 2017, 5 FFA Cup matches (from quarter finals) broadcast live by beIN Sports in Asia-Pacific nations, such as: Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. 7 FFA Cup matches (from round of 16) broadcast live by BT Sport in UK and Republic of Ireland.
From 2018, at least 1 FFA Cup match per round (from Round of 32) will be broadcast live by ESPN+ in the United States  and in other countries where the rights are not sold, most of the matches are streamed live by YouTube via My Football channel.
|2014||Adelaide United||1–0||Perth Glory||Coopers Stadium||16,142|
|2015||Melbourne Victory||2–0||Perth Glory||AAMI Park||15,098|
|2016||Melbourne City||1–0||Sydney FC||AAMI Park||18,751|
|2017||Sydney FC||2–1 (a.e.t.)||Adelaide United||Allianz Stadium||13,452|
|2018||Adelaide United||2–1||Sydney FC||Coopers Stadium||14,448|
|2019||Adelaide United||4–0||Melbourne City||Coopers Stadium||14,920|
|2020||Tournament cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia|
Mark Viduka MedalEdit
The award given to the player of the match in each year's FFA Cup Final.
|2014||Sergio Cirio||Adelaide United|||
|2015||Kosta Barbarouses||Melbourne Victory|||
|2016||Bruno Fornaroli||Melbourne City|||
|2017||Adrian Mierzejewski||Sydney FC|||
|2018||Craig Goodwin||Adelaide United|||
|2019||Al Hassan Toure||Adelaide United|||
Michael Cockerill MedalEdit
|2018||Elvis Kamsoba||Avondale FC|
|2019||Fraser Hills||Brisbane Strikers|
Records and statisticsEdit
- Most wins: 3, Adelaide United (2014, 2018, 2019).
- Most consecutive wins: 2, Adelaide United (2018, 2019).
- Most appearances in the final: 4, Adelaide United (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019).
- Most consecutive appearances in the final: 3, Adelaide United (2017, 2018, 2019) and Sydney FC (2016, 2017, 2018).
- Biggest win: 4 goals: Adelaide United 4–0 Melbourne City (2019)
- Most wins by a player: 3, joint record:
- Most appearances: 4, Michael Marrone (Adelaide United) (2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)
- Youngest player to score in the Final: Al Hassan Toure (Adelaide United) 19 years, 4 months and 24 days
Round of 32 onwardsEdit
- Biggest win: Darwin Rovers 0–8 Sydney FC (Round of 32, 2 August 2017).
- Biggest home win: Sydney United 58 7–2 Far North Queensland (Round of 32, 9 August 2017)
- Most clubs competing in a season: 781 (2018)
- Highest scoring: 9,
- Highest attendance: 18,751, Melbourne City v. Sydney FC, (2016 FFA Cup Final, 30 November 2016).
- Lowest attendance: 327, Bonnyrigg White Eagles v. Manly United (Round of 32, 3 August 2016).
- Biggest win: 31,
- Highest scoring: 31,
- Most clubs competing for trophy in a season: 781 (2018).
Round of 32 onwardsEdit
- Most career goals: 12, Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory, between 2014 and 2017).
- Most goals in a season: 8, Bobô (Sydney FC, 2017).
- Most goals in a game: 4,
- Fastest goal: 26 seconds, Daniel Heffernan (for Heidelberg United v. Sydney United 58, Round of 16, 26 August 2015).
- Fastest hat-trick: 18 minutes, Matt Sim (for Central Coast Mariners v. Palm Beach Sharks, Quarter-finals, 14 October 2014).
Winners and finalistsEdit
Results by teamEdit
Since its establishment, the FFA Cup has been won by 4 different teams.
|Club||Wins||First final won||Last final won||Runners-up||Last final lost||Total final|
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