Cup Winners' Cup

Inception and history || Competition format


Cup Winners' Cup (CWC) started in 1960, and just like the other two European competitions already existing, Champions Cup and Fairs Cup, it was created out of a private initiative. The UEFA Executive Committee only took responsibility for its organization the following season, 1961-62, when it was decided that the competition would run parallel to Champions Cup. Originally, this tournament was open to domestic Cup winners of all UEFA members. However, most of the member countries did not have a Cup competition, and they only joined after setting up one. Because of this, only ten federations entered participants in the first edition, 1960-61. In the beginning, CWC was sort of a "minor" tournament, without the charisma of Champions Cup and without the economic revenues of Fairs Cup, and this "reputation" has encumbered the competition ever until its disappearance in 1999.



[The competition format of this tournament stands untils 1999, when it disappears after merging with C3 in the so-called New UEFA Cup.]

The domestic Cup winners of those countries associated to UEFA qualify for C2 (unless they also won the League title, in which case they're replaced by the Cup runner-up). CWC's title holder receives a "wild card" to enter the competition, no matter how it ranked in domestic tournaments.

Historically, CWC has been played in different rounds leading to a single-game final (except in its first years). During its last editions, some preliminary rounds were also needed to allow for an increasing number of Cup champions representing new UEFA members.

From season 1997-98 on, a new competition format was introduced for this tournament. Cup champions of those countries ranked 18-48 in UEFA Country Ranking (variable depending on the number of teams) play a Qualifying Round. The survivors then face those champions of countries ranked 1-17 in UCR in the First Round, and successive knock-out rounds lead to the Final.

The main novelty introduced in season 1998-99 of C2 was the so-called "golden goal," namely, a definitive goal scored in extra time that gives the victory to a team with no need to play any longer.

In a meeting held in Lisbon on October 6, 1998, UEFA decided to modify the competition format of C1, C2, and C3, under the pressure of the most powerful teams and private TV channels in Europe. This new model started in season 1999-2000. From this season on, Cup Winners' Cup merged with UEFA Cup in a single tournament called New UEFA Cup (originally the name of Procup was proposed). Since it was basically a sequel of C3 increased with Cup champions, C2 disappeared officially in 1999.


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