Friday Frappé: Where’s your Cup spirit?
In this week’s edition of the Friday Frappé, AGONAsport’s Peter Katsiris reflects on the layout of the Greek Cup and its shortcomings...
Watch LIVE from AGONAsport: Olympiacos - PAOK, Greek SuperLeague matchday 5 derby on Sunday, September 30th. Details here.
This week’s action in the Greek Cup finally got the big-hitters of the competition involved with the likes of most Super League clubs finally taking to the pitch for matchday one of the group stage.
While the main controversy was the madness surrounding the fixture congestion and the approval of certain fixtures to be rescheduled but not others, the main talking point when it comes to the Greek Cup is that, well, it’s not quite a cup competition anymore.
Although the group stage component of the competition is nothing new, the fact that the Greek Cup doesn’t follow a traditional format that one would expect from a Cup competition is quite baffling.
It’s not hard to comprehend why the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) insists on such a (silly) format, especially since the fixture load of the Super League is much lighter considering the Greek top flight has just 16 teams – and shrinking!
With most European leagues, particularly the top ones, featuring 18 to 20 clubs, clearly, the Greek Cup is viewed as a filler in the Greek calendar; which is where the group stage component comes in.
All season the Super League offers conversation surrounding standings and points, so it would be refreshing to have a cup competition in Greece that follows the spirit of a proper cup competition. A tournament that, for the most part, features a winner-take-all format like the Carabao Cup in England or Germany’s DFB-Pokal.
If the EPO wants to beef-up the Greek football calendar, perhaps creating a second Cup competition would be better. A suggestion could be in the form of a competition that is exclusive to the top two tiers of the Greek football pyramid or perhaps a post-regular season tournament that features a playoff format like perhaps the MLS Cup.
In any case, until the EPO takes the tradition of the Greek Cup more seriously can we even call it the Greek Cup anymore?