The Iraq FA Cup, known as the Iraq Cup (Arabic: كأس العراق‎) in Arabic, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic Iraqi football.[1] First held in the 1948–49 season for clubs and institutions before returning in 1975 for clubs only, it is organised by the Iraq Football Association. The tournament begins with several rounds played between lower division clubs, twelve of which advance to the Round of 32, where the Iraqi Premier League clubs are entered. This is followed by the Round of 16, the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the final which is played as a single leg at Al-Shaab Stadium.

Iraq FA Cup
Iraq FA Cup Logo.png
Organising bodyIraq Football Association
Founded1948; 73 years ago (1948) (institutions)
1975; 46 years ago (1975) (clubs)
RegionIraq
Number of teams168 (2021–22)
Qualifier forAFC Cup
Domestic cup(s)Iraqi Super Cup
Current championsAl-Quwa Al-Jawiya
(5th title)
Most successful club(s)Al-Zawraa
(16 titles)
Television broadcastersShabab Sport
Al-Iraqiya Sports
Kurdistan 24
WebsiteIraq FA Cup
2021–22 Iraq FA Cup

The winners of the competition are awarded a place in the next season's AFC Cup group stage as well as qualifying for the Iraqi Super Cup where they play against the league champions at the start of the following season (or the league runners-up, if the cup winners have won the double).

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya are the current holders, having beaten Al-Zawraa on penalties in the 2021 final.

HistoryEdit

Foundation and developmentEdit

The Iraq Football Association was founded on 8 October 1948 and within its first week it had decided to hold a national knockout cup called the Iraq Football Association Cup for clubs and institute-representative teams.[2] The tournament kicked off on 21 January 1949 and culminated in Sharikat Naft Al-Basra winning the final on 7 April.[3] For the next 26 years, cup tournaments for clubs and institutions were played at a regional level (such as the Iraq FA Baghdad Cup which was played in the 1973–74 season) until the national knockout cup competition returned as a clubs-only competition in 1975 as the Iraq Cup.[4] Al-Shaab Stadium was chosen by the Iraq FA to host the cup finals as it was able to accommodate the large number of spectators in the capital city.[5] The first club to win the double was Al-Zawraa, winning the 1975–76 Iraqi National League and the 1975–76 Iraq FA Cup. Overall, Al-Zawraa have eight doubles while Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya have three, Al-Rasheed have two and Al-Talaba have one.[1]

In the 1976–77 season, the tournament was not held due to scheduling difficulties, and in the 1984–85 season, it was cancelled at the semi-final stage to allow the Iraq national team to prepare for their 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches, which was the same reason why the 1984–85 Iraqi National League was cancelled. The cup was also not held the following season, but returned for the 1986–87 campaign. It was also not held in the 2000–01 season due to scheduling difficulties.[1]

The 2003 edition of the Iraq FA Cup Final was not hosted in Al-Shaab Stadium; instead it was hosted in Erbil at the Franso Hariri Stadium for security reasons. The tournament was not held from 2003 up until 2012 as the Iraq War made it too difficult to schedule all the games and made travelling very difficult for some clubs. The cup finally returned in the 2012–13 season, but was eventually cancelled midway through due to scheduling difficulties with the 2012–13 Iraqi Elite League.[6]

It was not held again until the FA decided to hold it in the 2015–16 season.[7] This time, the cup was not cancelled, although a large number of Premier League teams withdrew from the competition. The 2016 Iraq FA Cup Final was the first Iraq FA Cup final held for 13 years, and was played between Baghdad rivals Al-Zawraa and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya with the latter winning 2–0. In the first edition of the tournament, there were 25 teams; by the 2021–22 season, there was an all-time high of 168 teams in the tournament.

EligibilityEdit

The competition is open to clubs from Level 1 to Level 4 of the Iraqi football league system which meet the eligibility criteria.

Competition formatEdit

OverviewEdit

Beginning in September, the competition proceeds as a knockout tournament throughout, consisting of eight rounds, a quarter-final, semi-final and then a final. A system of byes ensures clubs in Levels 1 and 2 enter the competition at later stages. There is no seeding, the fixtures in each round being determined by a random draw. The first six rounds are qualifiers, with the draws organised on a regional basis. The next five rounds are the "proper" rounds where all clubs are in one draw.

ScheduleEdit

Entrants from the bottom two levels (3 and 4) begin the competition in the qualifying rounds. Clubs from higher levels are then added in later rounds, as per the table below. The months in which rounds are played are subject to each year's calendar. The qualifying rounds are regionalised to reduce the travel costs for lower division sides.

Round New entrants at this round Month No. of matches
Qualifying Competition
First Round Level 3 and 4 clubs September 59
Second Round none 32
Third Round 20
Fourth Round Level 2 clubs October 22
Fifth Round none 11
Sixth Round 5
Competition Proper
Round of 32 Level 1 clubs November 16
Round of 16 none December 8
Quarter-finals January 4
Semi-Finals March 2
Final June 1

Records and statisticsEdit

FinalEdit

All roundsEdit

TeamEdit

  • Biggest win: Al-Jaish 14–0 Babil (12 September 1987)
  • Most clubs competing for trophy in a season: 168 (2021–22)

IndividualEdit

Cup runs and giant killingsEdit

Lower division teams have knocked out top-flight sides on numerous occasions. In the cup's first season in 1948–49, Baghdad First Division side Wizarat Al-Maarif lost 3–2 to Second Division team Al-Tayour Al-Zarqaa in the second round. In the 1977–78 edition of the cup, the second team of Al-Tayaran (Al-Tayaran B), who played in the Iraq Division One, eliminated Al-Jaish, who finished in fourth place in the 1977–78 Iraqi National League, from the first round of the cup with a 1–0 win.[8] In the same edition, Al-Zawraa were defeated by Division One team Al-Bahri in the quarter-finals, 2–1.[8] In the 1982–83 edition, Division One club Al-Hudood knocked out Arab Club Champions Cup holders Al-Shorta 7–6 on penalties.

In the 1989–90 edition, Al-Rasheed, who had won the Premier League in each of the past three seasons and the FA Cup in two of the past three seasons, were defeated by Division One club Al-Tijara 3–2 on aggregate in the Round of 16.[9] In the 1992–93 edition, Al-Tijara pulled off another shock by defeating Al-Shorta in the first round, 2–1, and they also defeated another top-flight team in Al-Jaish in the Round of 16 with the same result.[10] The 2016–17 Iraq FA Cup saw two major upsets in the Round of 32 as Al-Naft and Al-Shorta lost 3–2 and 3–1 to Division One clubs Al-Sinaa and Al-Jaish respectively, both at home.

Al-Minaa are the only team to have participated in every edition of the tournament from 1948–49 up until 2020–21.

Winners and finalistsEdit

Since its establishment, the Iraq FA Cup has been won by seven different teams.

Winning team won the Double
Season Winner Result Runner-up
Iraq FA Cup (Institutions)
1948–49 Sharikat Naft Al-Basra 2–1 Al-Kuliya Al-Askariya Al-Malikiya
Iraq FA Cup (Clubs)
1975–76 Al-Zawraa 5–0 Al-Baladiyat
(now Amanat Baghdad)
1976–77 Not held
1977–78 Al-Tayaran
(now Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya)
1–1 (aet)
(5–3 pen)
Al-Shorta
1978–79 Al-Zawraa 3–1 Al-Jaish
1979–80 Al-Jaish 1–1 (aet)
(4–2 pen)
Al-Talaba
1980–81 Al-Zawraa 1–0 Al-Talaba
1981–82 Al-Zawraa 2–1 Al-Talaba
1982–83 Al-Jaish 2–1 Al-Shabab
1983–84 Al-Sinaa 0–0 (aet)
(5–4 pen)
Al-Shabab
1984–85 Abandoned at semi-finals
1985–86 Not held
1986–87 Al-Rasheed 1–1 (aet)
(4–3 pen)
Al-Jaish
1987–88 Al-Rasheed 0–0 (aet)
(4–3 pen)
Al-Zawraa
1988–89 Al-Zawraa 3–0 Al-Tayaran
(now Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya)
1989–90 Al-Zawraa 0–0 (aet)
(2–1 pen)
Al-Shabab
1990–91 Al-Zawraa 1–1 (aet)
(4–3 pen)
Al-Jaish
1991–92 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2–1 Al-Tayaran
(now Al-Khutoot)
1992–93 Al-Zawraa 2–1 Al-Talaba
1993–94 Al-Zawraa 1–0 Al-Talaba
1994–95 Al-Zawraa 3–0 Al-Jaish
1995–96 Al-Zawraa 2–1 Al-Shorta
1996–97 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 1–1 (aet)
(7–6 pen)
Al-Shorta
1997–98 Al-Zawraa 1–1 (aet)
(4–3 pen)
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1998–99 Al-Zawraa 1–0 (agget) Al-Talaba
1999–2000 Al-Zawraa 0–0 (aet)
(4–3 pen)
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2000–01 Not held
2001–02 Al-Talaba 1–0 Al-Shorta
2002–03 Al-Talaba 1–0 Al-Shorta
2003–12 Not held
2012–13 Abandoned at round of 32
2013–15 Not held
2015–16 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 2–0 Al-Zawraa
2016–17 Al-Zawraa 1–0 Naft Al-Wasat
2017–18 Not held
2018–19 Al-Zawraa 1–0 Al-Kahrabaa
2019–20 Abandoned at round of 32
2020–21 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 0–0
(4–2 pen)
Al-Zawraa
2021–22 To be determined

Performance by teamEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
Al-Zawraa 16 3 1976, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2017, 2019 1988, 2016, 2021
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 5 3 1978, 1992, 1997, 2016, 2021 1989, 1998, 2000
Al-Talaba 2 6 2002, 2003 1980, 1981, 1982, 1993, 1994, 1999
Al-Jaish 2 4 1980, 1983 1979, 1987, 1991, 1995
Al-Rasheed 2 0 1987, 1988
Sharikat Naft Al-Basra 1 0 1949
Al-Sinaa 1 0 1984
Al-Shorta 0 5 1978, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003
Al-Shabab 0 3 1983, 1984, 1990
Al-Kuliya Al-Askariya 0 1 1949
Amanat Baghdad 0 1 1976
Al-Khutoot 0 1 1992
Naft Al-Wasat 0 1 2017
Al-Kahrabaa 0 1 2019

List of winning managersEdit

Season Nationality Winning manager Club
1948–49   Iraq Tommy Thomas Sharikat Naft Al-Basra
1975–76   Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa
1977–78   Iraq Abdelilah Mohammed Hassan Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1978–79   Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1979–80   Iraq Muayad Mohammed Salih Al-Jaish
1980–81   Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1981–82   Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1982–83   Poland Wojciech Przybylski Al-Jaish
1983–84   Hungary Vincze Géza Al-Sinaa
1986–87   Iraq Nasrat Nassir Al-Rasheed
1987–88   Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Rasheed
1988–89   Iraq Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa
1989–90   Iraq Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa
1990–91   Iraq Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa
1991–92   Iraq Adil Yousef Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1992–93   Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1993–94   Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Zawraa
1994–95   Iraq Hadi Mutanish Al-Zawraa
1995–96   Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa
1996–97   Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1997–98   Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1998–99   Iraq Amer Jameel Al-Zawraa
1999–2000   Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa
2001–02   Iraq Thair Ahmed Al-Talaba
2002–03   Iraq Thair Ahmed Al-Talaba
2015–16   Iraq Ahmed Daham Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2016–17   Iraq Essam Hamad Al-Zawraa
2018–19   Iraq Hakeem Shaker Al-Zawraa
2020–21   Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

Most successful managersEdit

No. Winning manager[11] Club(s) No. titles
1   Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa 5
2   Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa 3
3   Thair Ahmed Al-Talaba 2
  Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa
  Ayoub Odisho Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Hashim, Refel; Mubarak, Hassanin; Qayed, Mohammed. "Iraq – List of Cup Winners". RSSSF.
  2. ^ "Football leagues set up in Iraq's main centres". The Iraq Times. 16 October 1948.
  3. ^ "The Cup goes to Basrah". The Iraq Times. 8 April 1949.
  4. ^ Al-Munshi', Dhiyaa. Encyclopedia of the Iraqi Football (in Arabic). Baghdad.
  5. ^ "All the Story". Iraqi Football Archive (in Arabic).
  6. ^ "Masoud: The draw of the Iraq FA Cup will commence today with 22 teams participating from the Iraqi Premier League" (in Arabic). Iraq Football Photos Gallery. September 22, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "The draw of the first round of the Iraq FA Cup is over with the participation of 19 teams" (in Arabic). Hamrin News. Al-Mada Press. September 1, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Hashim, Refel. "Iraq 1977/78". RSSSF.
  9. ^ Hashim, Refel. "Iraq 1989/90". RSSSF.
  10. ^ Hashim, Refel. "Iraq 1992/93". RSSSF.
  11. ^ List of Iraq FA Cup winning managers

External linksEdit