Spain - Copa Catalunya
About Copa Catalunya
Copa Catalunya History, Format, Organization, Media Coverage
Copa Catalunya is a knockout cup competition exclusive to clubs from the region of Catalonia. Run by the Catalan Football Federation, the tournament, as we know it today, was established in 1989 but its history dates back to 1903.
From 1903 until 1940, the competition was a prestigious tournament known as the Championship of Catalonia, even preceding La Liga. The event was eventually banned by the Spanish government in 1940 before being permitted to return in 1984 despite being unrecognized by the football federation for the first five years. Come 1989, Copa Catalunya was awarded official recognition, with the likes of Barcelona and Espanyol being permitted to participate – in the first five years, only non-professional third-division teams could take part.
The format of this tournament is straight-forward: teams are drawn against each other over the several rounds in one-off matches until the final, where the champions are crowned. It has undergone changes over the years, however. In 2013/14 and seasons prior to that, the Copa Catalunya consisted of two phases: the first had three rounds, and the latter had six. This was then followed by the semi-finals and final. Come 2014/15, the cup scrapped this format and opted for three rounds followed by a quarter-final, semi-final, and final. The 2016/17 season would then introduce a slight alteration once more, this time doing away with the quarter-finals and replacing it with a fourth round.
The number of teams differs from season to season but it rarely passes the 30-32 range. The Barcelona and Espanyol first teams no longer participate in this competition, with the Blaugrana and Blanquiazules reserves competing instead. The Segunda División, Segunda División B, Tercera División, and the top teams of Primera Catalana make up the contenders list.