Baltic Cup (football)

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Baltic Cup
Baltic Cup logo.png
Founded1928
RegionBaltic (UEFA)
Number of teams3
(+ possible guests)
Current champions Estonia
(4th title)
Most successful team(s) Latvia
(13 titles)
2020 Baltic Cup

The Baltic Cup (Estonian: Balti turniir, Latvian: Baltijas kauss, Lithuanian: Baltijos taurė) is an international football competition contested by the national teams of the Baltic statesEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Finland has also participated in the event twice as a guest. Though originally held annually the competition has been biennial since 2008. The 2020 tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, and took place in 2021. It is one of the oldest national teams football tournaments in Europe after the British Home Championship, and the oldest of the ones still organized.[1]

History[edit]

As Estonia had unofficially declared itself the Baltic football champion in 1925, 1926 and 1927 based on matches played with Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland it was decided in 1928 to organize an official tournament. Though Poland and Finland were invited to join, the tournament took place between the three Baltic nations.[2]

The tournament was intended to improve relations between the nations, but intrigues around the organization and budget questions worked against this noble goal. The hosts always did everything to wear out their competitors. In 1933 Lithuanian hosts surprised the officials with a tour to a local brewery in the morning before the Lithuania–Latvia match. The Estonian newspaper Päevaleht reported that the Finnish referee for the match was really jolly, but did a horrible job, mostly favouring the Lithuanian hosts. The rules demanded that at least two wins were necessary to win the championship. Both Lithuania–Estonia and Lithuania–Latvia matches had been drawn but stopped due to darkness. In the team meeting Latvia demanded that Lithuania–Estonia match should be re-played first. Latvia was hoping for an advantage against a tired Lithuanian team in their match. Lithuania and Estonia disagreed, noting that Latvia had won their match against Estonia, so a Latvian win against Lithuania would grant the Latvians the championship and end the tournament. Consensus was not reached and the Latvian team left the same day. The championship was not awarded.[2][3]

The feud led to the cancellation of the 1934 tournament, but the championship returned for the 1935. The rules were changed so that extra matches were now only held between leading teams if they were necessary for deciding on the championship.[4] In 2021, for the 2020 Baltic Cup, Estonia won the Cup after a wait of 83 years.

Results[edit]

Year Host Champions Runners-up Third place Fourth place
1928 Estonia Tallinn  Latvia  Estonia  Lithuania
1929 Latvia Riga  Estonia  Latvia  Lithuania
1930 Lithuania Kaunas  Lithuania  Latvia  Estonia
1931 Estonia Tallinn  Estonia (2)  Latvia  Lithuania
1932 Latvia Riga  Latvia (2)  Lithuania  Estonia
1933 Lithuania Kaunas Champion undecided due to disagreements over match times.
1934 Not held due to disagreements over the 1933 competition.
1935 Estonia Tallinn  Lithuania (2)  Latvia  Estonia
1936 Latvia Riga  Latvia (3)  Estonia  Lithuania
1937 Lithuania Kaunas  Latvia (4)  Estonia  Lithuania
1938 Estonia Tallinn  Estonia (3)  Latvia  Lithuania
1939 Not held due to strained sports-relations between Latvia and Lithuania after a controversial basketball game.
1940–1990 Not held due to Soviet occupation.
1991 Lithuania Klaipėda  Lithuania (3)  Latvia  Estonia
1992 Latvia Liepāja  Lithuania (4)  Latvia  Estonia
1993 Estonia Pärnu  Latvia (5)  Estonia  Lithuania
1994 Lithuania Vilnius  Lithuania (5)  Latvia  Estonia
1995 Latvia Riga  Latvia (6)  Lithuania  Estonia
1996 Estonia Narva  Lithuania (6)  Estonia  Latvia
1997 Lithuania Vilnius  Lithuania (7)  Latvia  Estonia
1998 Latvia Liepāja
Estonia Valga
Estonia Viljandi
 Lithuania (8)  Latvia  Estonia
2001 Latvia Riga  Latvia (7)  Lithuania  Estonia
2003 Estonia Tallinn
Estonia Valga
 Latvia (8)  Lithuania  Estonia
2005 Lithuania Kaunas  Lithuania (9)  Latvia Estonia did not participate due to scheduling conflicts.[5]
2008 Latvia Jūrmala
Latvia Riga
 Latvia (9)  Lithuania  Estonia
2010 Lithuania Kaunas  Lithuania (10)  Latvia  Estonia
2012 Estonia Tartu
Estonia Võru
 Latvia (10)  Finland  Estonia  Lithuania
2014 Latvia Ventspils
Latvia Liepāja
 Latvia (11)  Lithuania  Finland  Estonia
2016 Lithuania Klaipėda
Latvia Liepāja
Estonia Tallinn
 Latvia (12)  Lithuania  Estonia
2018 Estonia Rakvere
Latvia Riga
Lithuania Vilnius
 Latvia (13)  Estonia  Lithuania
2020 Lithuania Vilnius
Latvia Riga
Estonia Tallinn
 Estonia (4)  Latvia  Lithuania

Medal summary[edit]

As of 2020.[6]
RankNationGoldSilverBronzeTotal
1 Latvia1313127
2 Lithuania107926
3 Estonia461525
4 Finland0112
Totals (4 nations)27272680

Statistics[edit]

As of 2020. Including the 1933 tournament, but excluding the replay match played on 5 September 1933.
Rank Team Apps Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1  Latvia 28 55 29 18 8 89 48 +41 105
2  Lithuania 28 55 19 12 24 76 92 −16 69
3  Estonia 27 54 12 13 29 57 84 −27 49
4  Finland 2 4 2 1 1 5 3 +2 7

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eiropas vecākā starptautiskā futbola turnīra vēstures līkloči un ceļš pretim jaunai atzinībai". Latvijas futbols. Maijs 2014. Latvijas Futbola federācija. 2014-05-20. Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2014-05-26.
  2. ^ a b "Eesti välispoliitika Balti suund 1926–1934" (PDF). University of Tartu. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Balti turniir lõppes fiaskoga". dea.digar.ee. Maa Hääl. 6 September 1933. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ Allika, Andrus. "Vilniuses algas Balti turniir". Õhtuleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  5. ^ "EJL tegi ettepaneku uuendusteks Balti turniiril". Eesti Päevaleht. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Baltic Cup Overview in rsssf.com". almis.sritis.lt. Retrieved 4 June 2018.

External links[edit]