The Länderpokal (English: State Cup) is the oldest cup competition of the German Football Association. It came into existence as the Kronprinzenpokal (English:Crown Prince Cup) but has changed its name various times since. The cup is held annually at the Sportschule Duisburg-Wedau. Contestants in the cup are teams of the 21 regional football associations, composed of youth players from that area. Also guest teams are invited each year since 2005, which play in the competition but will not be awarded a place in the final standings.
|No. of teams||21|
In the past, the cup was contested by senior regional selections, later by senior amateur selections from the Amateur-Oberligas and below. In the mid-90's, this was changed to Under-21 selections. In 1981 the a women's competition was introduced. Record titleholder for the men's competition is the Bavarian football association.
The competition was formed in 1908, when the German Crown Prince William donated a cup to the German Football Association - DFB, to initiate the Kronprinzenpokal. His only condition for the new competition was that the final was always to be played in Berlin.
The trophy had an inscription engraved which it still bears today:
Seine Kaiserliche und Königliche Hoheit Wilhelm, Kronprinz des Deutschen Reiches und von Preußen stiftete im Jahre 1908 diesen Pokal als Wanderpreis für Fußball-Wettspiele zwischen den repräsentativen Mannschaften der Landesverbände des Deutschen Fußball-Bundes
His Imperial and Royal Highness William, Crown Prince of the German Empire and Prussia donated this trophy in 1908 as a reward for football competitions between the teams of the regional associations of the German Football Association
The Kronprinzenpokal was initially contested by only seven teams, the selections of the seven regional German football associations, North, South, West, Brandenburg, Central, South East and Baltic.
With the end of the First World War, the name of the competition was altered to reflect the fact, that Germany was not a monarchy anymore. The trophy donated by William with its inscription is however still used and handed to the winner each season.
Held from 1909 to 1918, when the monarchy in Germany was abolished, the Crown Prince Cup was the first version of the tournament. It was contested between the selections of the seven regional football associations in Germany at the time. The competition was interrupted by the First World War and was not held in 1915 and 1916:
The competition continued in its previous form after the end of the monarchy, in the new German Republic, now renamed Federal Cup:
|1928||South Eastern Germany|
In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, the old regional football federations were abolished, football in Germany was centralized and the Gauligas were introduced, 16 regional first divisions. A new competition to replace the Bundespokal was introduced in 1935, now contested by selections from the Gaue, the new administrative subdivisions of Germany. This competition lasted until 1942, when the consequences caused by the Second World War made football more and more difficult.
Staged for the first and only time after the Second World War, the State Cup was played in 1950 and won by Bavaria.
From 1951 onwards, the competition, now renamed Amateur State Cup, was open only to non-professional players. It started out with the selections of the fifteen regional football federations in West Germany, not including East German or Saarland selections, the later entering a team from 1957. Selections from the five East German federations only started to participate after the German reunion. The now twenty-one regional football federations are not always identical in size to the current sixteen German federal states; a number of states have more than one federation.
|1951||Lower Rhine||Berlin||5–4 aet|
|1958||Lower Rhine||Lower Saxony||2–0|
|1964||Middle Rhine||South Baden||4–0|
|1971||Bavaria||Lower Rhine||2–1 aet|
|1972||North Baden||Lower Saxony||2–1|
|1973||North Baden||Lower Rhine||1–1 aet 1|
|1975||South West||North Baden||0–0 aet (4–2 pso)|
|1977||Bavaria||South West||4–2 aet|
|1978||Westphalia||Lower Saxony||1–0 / 1–0|
|1981||South West||Hesse||1–1 aet (4–3 pso)|
|1982||South West||Lower Rhine||3–1|
|1985||Rhineland||Hamburg||1–1 aet (3–2 pso)|
|1986||Westphalia||Lower Rhine||0–0 aet (4–2 pso)|
|1989||Bavaria||Hesse||2–2 aet (4–2 pso)|
|1991||Lower Rhine||Hesse||1–1 aet (4–3 pso)|
|2003||South West||Lower Saxony||2–2 aet (4–2 pso)|
Since 2005, a final is not played anymore and the competitions winner is determined by a group stage.
|2006||Lower Rhine||Middle Rhine|
- 1 North Baden declared the winner because Lower Rhine was unable to field a team for the rematch.
The selections of the twenty-one regional German football federations take part in the cup, these being:
- Bavaria (Bayern), covering the state of Bavaria
- Berlin, covering the city state of Berlin +
- Brandenburg, covering the state of Brandenburg +
- Bremen, covering the city state of Bremen
- Hamburg covering the city state of Hamburg
- Hesse (Hessen), covering the state of Hesse
- Lower Rhine (Niederrhein), covering the north western part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen), covering the state of Lower Saxony
- Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, covering the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern +
- Middle Rhine (Mittelrhein), covering the south western part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- North Baden (Nordbaden), covering the north western part of the state of Baden-Württemberg
- Rhineland (Rheinland), covering the northern half of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Saarland, covering the state of Saarland
- Saxony (Sachsen), covering the state of Saxony +
- Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt), covering the state of Saxony-Anhalt +
- Schleswig-Holstein, covering the state of Schleswig-Holstein
- South Baden (Südbaden), covering the south western part of the state of Baden-Württemberg
- South West (Südwest), covering the southern half of Rhineland-Palatinate
- Thuringia (Thüringen), covering the state of Thuringia +
- Westphalia (Westfalen), covering the eastern part of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia
- Württemberg, covering the eastern part of the state of Baden-Württemberg, divided into north and south in the first edition in 1951.
- + Formerly part of East Germany, except Berlin, which was divided between East and West.
- German names in brackets, when different from English name.
- kicker Allmanach 1990, (in German) by kicker, page 216 & 225 – Der Länderpokal der Amateure (German Amateur State Cup)