|Organising body||Bulgarian Football Union (BFS)|
|Number of teams||Various|
|Qualifier for||UEFA Europa Conference League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Bulgarian Supercup|
|Current champions|| CSKA Sofia |
|Most successful club(s)|| Levski Sofia |
|Television broadcasters||Nova Broadcasting Group|
The Bulgarian Cup (Bulgarian : Купа на България, romanized: Kupa na Bulgaria) is a Bulgarian annual football competition. It is the country's main cup competition and all officially registered Bulgarian football teams take part in it.
The tournament's format is single-elimination, with all matches being one-legged, except the semi-finals. The competition's winner gets the right to take part in the UEFA Europa League. If the winner has already secured a place through the Bulgarian A Professional Football Group, the team that has come fourth in the championship substitutes it.
The competition has been dominated by Sofia-based teams. The Sofia teams have won together a total number of 64 titles. The three most successful teams are Levski Sofia (25 cups), CSKA Sofia (21 cups) and Slavia Sofia (8 cups). The current cup holders are CSKA Sofia, who beat Arda Kardzhali 1–0 in the 2021 final.
The Bulgarian Cup tournament is divided in two phases - the Qualification phase and the Final phase.
In this phase are participating teams from the four groups of the amateur division V AFG (3rd level of the Bulgarian football league system) and teams from Bulgarian A Regional Football Group (A RFG) (4th level of the Bulgarian football league system).
In this phase are participating the teams that have won their matches in the Qualification phase, with the 20 teams from the two groups of B PFG (10 teams from West B PFG and 10 teams from East B PFG) and 16 teams from A PFG. The team from a lower league division is the home team. In matches between teams from same division the home team is determined by lot.
The Bulgarian Cup as a domestic cup knock-out tournament, has its roots in several tournaments held in Bulgaria through the early 20th century, simultaneously or successively starting in the 1910s with regional Sofia competitions.
The Tsar's Cup (Bulgarian : Царска купа, romanized: Tsarska kupa) is recognised as the foundation of the modern domestic cup by the Bulgarian Football Union. The cup was founded in 1924, and until 1937 (and in 1943), it was awarded to the winner of the Bulgarian State Football Championship. The championship was a knockout tournament in which the champions of the country's districts ( oblasts ) played in one-legged single-elimination rounds.
From 1938 to 1942, a separate tournament was held to determine the cup champion, its winners are officially recognised as domestic cup holders by the BFS.
An annual cup competition was not held between 1943 and 1945 due to World War II. In 1946, Bulgaria, now a communist state, reformed its football league structure and competitions alike those in the Soviet Union. The new Central Football Committee created the Soviet Army Cup (Bulgarian : Купа на Съветската армия, romanized: Kupa na Savetskata armiya) in time for the 1945-46 season. Until the end of communist administration in Bulgaria in 1990, the annual two-legged knock-out tournament was held, its winners qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
The Soviet Army Cup was the country's primary cup tournament up to 1982. In the following years until 1990, the championship served as a secondary cup tournament, before ceasing to exist. The Bulgarian Football Union recognises the historic winners of the Soviet Army Cup as official domestic cup holders for the seasons between 1945–46 to 1981–82. Levski Sofia, being the club to have won the tournament the most times, were given the original trophy permanently.
In 1981, in honour of the 1300th Anniversary of the Bulgarian State, a national knock-out football tournament was introduced, awarding the winner with the Bulgarian Cup. The Soviet Army Cup tournament gradually lost its importance due to the success of the Bulgarian Cup and in 1983 it ceded primacy to the new competition. The winners of the Bulgarian Cup from 1982-83 onwards are considered official domestic cup holders.
The most successful club in the cup tournament is Levski Sofia, having won 25 titles. Levski Sofia also hold the record for the biggest win in a Bulgarian Cup final, winning 5–0 against Pirin Blagoevgrad in 1992 and 5–0 against CSKA Sofia in 1998. CSKA Sofia are the only team to have claimed the trophy, from outside the top level of Bulgarian football, doing so in 2016, while representing the third tier of the country's football pyramid. Furthermore, CSKA Sofia hold the record for winning the most consecutive Bulgarian Cups (3 titles in a row), achieving that on two occasions, between 1972-1974 and 1987-1989.
A summary of the performance of various clubs who have taken part in the competition is shown in the table below.
|Club||Wins||Last final won||Runners-up||Last final lost||Total final appearances|
|Beroe Stara Zagora||2||2013||4||1980||6|
|FK 13 Sofia||2||1940||—||—||2|
|Cherno More Varna||1||2015||2||2008||3|
|1981||CSKA Sofia||1–0||Slavia Sofia||6 June 1981||Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia||25,000|
|1982||Levski Sofia||4–0||CSKA Sofia||16 June 1982||Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia||30,000|
From 1997 to 2011 the Bulgarian Cup is sponsored by the American car manufacturer Ford and its official distributor in Bulgaria Moto-Pfohe.
From season 2011–12 the Bulgarian Cup is sponsored by the Bulgarian Corporate Commercial Bank.
Botev Professional Football Club, commonly referred to as Botev Plovdiv or simply Botev, is a professional football club in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Founded on 11 March 1912, it is the country's oldest active football club, which competes in the Bulgarian Parva Liga, the top flight of Bulgarian football.
Lokomotiv is a Bulgarian professional association football club based in Plovdiv that competes in the country's primary football competition, the First League. Lokomotiv's home ground is Stadion Lokomotiv which is situated in Lauta Park, in the south of the city, and has a capacity of 10,000 spectators.
The First Professional Football League, also known as the Bulgarian First League or Parva liga, currently known as the efbet League for sponsorship reasons, is a professional association football league, located at the top of the Bulgarian football league system. Contested by 14 teams, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Second Professional Football League.
The Bulgarian Supercup is the trophy won in a football match held between the football club that has won the Bulgarian first football division in the season that ended in the year of the match and the holder of the Bulgarian Cup at that time. In case the champion of Bulgaria has also won the cup, the Bulgarian Cup finalist competes with the champion in the match for the trophy.
The 2009–10 Bulgarian Cup was the 28th official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on September 16, 2009 with the matches of the Preliminary Round and ended with the final on May 5, 2010. Litex Lovech are the defending champions.
The 2010–11 Bulgarian Cup is the 29th official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition will begin in September 2010 with the matches of the Preliminary Round and end with the final in May 2011. Beroe Stara Zagora are the defending champions.
The 2011–12 Bulgarian Cup was the 30th official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began in September 2011 with the matches of the Preliminary Round and ended with the final in May 2012. CSKA Sofia were the defending champions, but lost to Septemvri Simitli in the quarterfinals. Ludogorets Razgrad won the title, after defeating Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the final.
The 2012–13 Bulgarian Cup was the 31st official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 13 October 2012 with the matches of the Preliminary Round and ended with the final on 15 May 2013. Ludogorets Razgrad were the defending champions, but were eliminated by CSKA Sofia in the second round. Beroe Stara Zagora won the title, their second overall, after defeating Levski Sofia in the final by penalties.
The 2013–14 A Group was the 90th season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, and 66th since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid. The season started on 19 July 2013 with the opening game between Chernomorets and Cherno More; the season ended on 18 May 2014 with the last game between Ludogorets Razgrad and Cherno More.
The 2013–14 Bulgarian Cup is the 32nd official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition will begin on 18 September 2013 with the matches of the First Round and will ended with the final on 15 May 2014. Beroe Stara Zagora were the defending champions, but lost to the eventual champions Ludogorets Razgrad in the second round.
The 2014–15 Bulgarian Cup was the 33rd official season of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 23 September 2014 with the matches of the First Round and finished with the final on 28 May 2015. Ludogorets Razgrad were the defending champions, but lost to Levski Sofia in the semifinals.
The 2015–16 Bulgarian Cup was the 34th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 23 September 2015 with the matches of the First Round and finished with the final on 24 May 2016. Cherno More Varna were the defending champions.
The 2000–01 Bulgarian Cup was the 61st season of the Bulgarian Cup. Litex Lovech won the competition, beating Velbazhd Kyustendil 1–0 in the final at the Stadion Lokomotiv in Sofia.
The 2016–17 First Professional Football League is the 93rd season of the top division of the Bulgarian football league system, the 68th since a league format was adopted for the national competition of A Group as a top tier of the pyramid and also the inaugural season of the First Professional Football League, which decides the Bulgarian champion. The season is the first with a new league structure and strict financial criteria where 14 clubs play each other home and away, until the league is split up in championship and relegation playoffs. The new league structure, inspired by the ones used by the Belgian First Division A and Danish Superliga, was approved by the Bulgarian Football Union on 6 June 2016. The fixtures were announced on 8 July 2016.
The 2016−17 Bulgarian Cup was the 35th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 20 September 2016 with the first round and finished with the final on 24 May 2017. CSKA Sofia were the defending champions, but lost in the first round to Lokomotiv Sofia. Botev Plovdiv won its third cup, after winning the final against Ludogorets Razgrad. Botev, thus, qualified for the first qualifying round of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League.
The 2002–03 Bulgarian Cup was the 63rd season of the Bulgarian Cup. Levski Sofia won the competition, beating Litex Lovech 2–1 in the final at the Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia.
The 2017−18 Bulgarian Cup was the 36th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 19 September 2017 with the first round and finished with the final on 9 May 2018. Botev Plovdiv were the defending champions, but lost on away goals in the semi-finals to Slavia Sofia. Slavia later won the final on penalties against Levski Sofia, thus acquiring its eight Bulgarian Cup in its history. The club also qualified for the first qualifying round of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.
The 2018−19 Bulgarian Cup was the 37th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 25 September 2018 with the first round and finished with the final on 15 May 2019. Slavia Sofia were the defending champions, but lost on penalties in the round of 16 to Ludogorets Razgrad. The final was contested between Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Botev Plovdiv, thus being the first ever final to feature the Plovdiv derby. Lokomotiv won the final with the score of 1–0 and clinched their first ever cup title. They also qualified for the second qualifying round of the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.
The 2019−20 Bulgarian Cup was the 38th official edition of the Bulgarian annual football knockout tournament. The competition began on 4 September 2019 with the preliminary round and finished with the final on 1 July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bulgaria. Lokomotiv Plovdiv successfully defended the cup by winning on penalties against CSKA Sofia and qualified for the first qualifying round of the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League.
The 2001–02 Bulgarian Cup was the 62nd season of the Bulgarian Cup. Levski Sofia won the competition, beating CSKA Sofia 3–1 in the final at the Stadion Slavia in Sofia.