League Cup

In association football, a League Cup or Secondary Cup generally signifies a cup competition for which entry is restricted only to teams in a particular league. The first national association football tournament to be called "League Cup" was held in Scotland in 1946–47 and was entitled the Scottish League Cup. However, in the Republic of Ireland the now defunct League of Ireland Shield was the first national league-only tournament of its kind; this was subsequently replaced by the League of Ireland Cup in 1983.

The creation of a League Cup marked the difference from the Association Cup or Primary Cup, which is generally also open to teams from multiple leagues, often as far down as regional amateur leagues, and who are also members of the country's football association.

The creation of a tournament of this kind exclusively for the top national-level league teams, in addition to the two main domestic association football tournaments of the league and association cup, also created a new national footballing achievement called the domestic "treble". The first national league treble of this kind was won by Shamrock Rovers of the Republic of Ireland in 1925.

League cups were generally introduced after the Second World War - for example, the Football League Cup in England in 1960 - although in other countries they were created following a rise in the number of floodlit stadiums, allowing regular midweek matches.

In certain countries, the League Cup had, or in some cases still has, group stages in the early stages. These often opened the season before the main league season began.

List of League Cups and Secondary Cups

Asia

Hong Kong

India

Japan

Men
Women

Philippines

Malaysia

Singapore

Thailand

Africa

South Africa

Europe

England

Men
Women

France

Iceland

Republic of Ireland

Israel

Northern Ireland

Portugal

Scotland

Wales

North America

Trinidad and Tobago

Defunct League Cups

Asia

China PR

Iraq

Philippines

Men
Women

Japan

South Korea

Africa

Algeria

Tunisia

Europe

Belgium

Denmark

East Germany

  • Olympia-Pokal (1964)
  • Fuwo-Pokal (1972)
  • DFV-Toto-Sonderrunde (1974 & 1976)

England

Finland

France

Germany

Gibraltar

Greece

Norway

  • Norwegian League Cup

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Scotland

Spain

Switzerland

Turkey

Ukraine

USSR

Wales

Women's League Cups

England

Scotland

  • Scottish Premier League Cup
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