The DFB-Pokal (Deutscher Fußball-Bund-Pokal or German Football-Federation Cup) is an elimination football tournament held annually. It is the second most important national title in German football after the Bundesliga championship.
The competition format has varied considerably since the inception of the Tschammer-Pokal in 1935.
The DFB-Pokal begins with a round of 64 teams. The 36 teams of the Bundesliga and 2nd Bundesliga, along with the top four finishers of the 3rd Liga are automatically qualified for the tournament. Of the remaining slots 21 are given to the cup winners of the regional football associations. The three remaining slots are given to three the regional associations with the most men's teams. They may assign the slot as they see fit but usually give it to the runner up in the association cup. As every team is entitled to participate in local tournaments which qualify for the association cups every team can in principle compete in the DFB-Pokal. Backup teams are not allowed in the competition, though.
The pairings for the DFB-Pokal are not entirely random as the teams are split into two pots of 32 teams each. One pot contains all the amateur teams including teams from the 3rd Liga and the teams just being promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga. The other pot contains the teams from the Bundesliga and the teams of the 2nd Bundesliga, which are not just being promoted. Therefore in the first round of the cup each professional team plays an amateur team. Since 1982 the amateur generally plays at home when facing a professional team.
For the second round the teams are again divided into two pots according to the same principles. This time the pots don't have to be of equal size though, depending on the results of the first round. Amateur teams get paired with professional teams until one pot is empty. The remaining teams are then drawn from the nonempty pot with the team first drawn playing at home.
All cup games have a regular time of two times 45 minutes with the winner advancing to the next round. In case of a draw the game gets extended by two times 15 minutes. If the score is still level after 120 minutes the winner is determined by a penalty shootout.
Historically the number of participants in the main tournament has varied between four from 1956 until 1960 and 128 from 1973 through 1982 resulting in tournaments of two to seven rounds. Since the inception of the Bundesliga in 1963 all clubs from the Bundesliga are automatically qualified for the DFB-Pokal as are all clubs from the 2nd Bundesliga since its inception in 1974. Backup teams have for most of the time been allowed to participate in the DFB-Pokal but are excluded since 2008.
The final is since 1985 every year held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Before 1985 the host of the final was determined on short notice. The DFB hereby took into consideration the ease with which supporters of both finalists could reach the site.
Originally the cup games were held over two times 45 minutes with two times 15 minutes extra time in case of a draw. If the score was still level after 120 minutes the game was replayed with the home field right reversed. In the Tschammer-Pokal 1939 the semi-final between SV Waldhof Mannheim and Wacker Wien was a draw three times before the game was decided by lot. The DFB decided to hold a penalty shootout if the replay was a another draw after a similar situation arose in the 1970 cup, when the match between Alemannia Aachen and SV Werder Bremen had to be decided by lot after two draws.
In 1971-72 and 1972-73 the matches were held over two legs. The second leg was extended by two times 15 minutes if the aggregate was a draw after both legs. In case the extension brought no decision a penalty shooutout was held.
When in 1977 the final 1. FC Köln vs. Hertha BSC had to be replayed this led to great logistic difficulties. In the aftermath the DFB decided not to let cup finals to be replayed in the future instead holding a penalty shootout after extra time. Eventually this change was extended to all cup games in 1991.
The first German cup was held in 1935. It was then called von Tschammer und Osten Pokal, or short Tschammerpokal, named after Reichssportführer (Sports Chief of the Reich) Hans von Tschammer und Osten. The first final was contested between the two most successful clubs of that era, the 1. FC Nuremberg and Schalke 04, with Nuremberg winning 2 – 0. After the last Tschammerpokal was held in 1943 the cup was not held for almost 20 years, being re-introduced by the DFB in 1952 under its current name DFB-Pokal. In 1965 the original trophy, Goldfasanen-Pokal, was substituted by the trophy which is still awarded today, because the original reminded DFB-president Peco Bauwens of the Nazi-era.
|2008||FC Bayern Munich||Borussia Dortmund||2-1 ET||19/04/08||Berlin||74,244|
|2007||1. FC Nuremberg||VfB Stuttgart||3-2 ET||26/05/07||Berlin||74,220|
|2006||FC Bayern Munich||Eintracht Frankfurt||1-0||29/04/06||Berlin||74,349|
|2005||FC Bayern Munich||FC Schalke 04||2-1||28/05/05||Berlin||74,349|
|2004||SV Werder Bremen||Alemannia Aachen||3-2||29/05/04||Berlin||71,682|
|2003||FC Bayern Munich||1. FC Kaiserslautern||3-1||31/05/03||Berlin||70,490|
|2002||FC Schalke 04||Bayer Leverkusen||4-2||11/05/02||Berlin||70,000|
|2001||FC Schalke 04||1. FC Union Berlin||2-0||26/05/01||Berlin||73,011|
|2000||FC Bayern Munich||SV Werder Bremen||3-0||06/05/00||Berlin||76,000|
|1999||SV Werder Bremen||FC Bayern Munich||1-1 5-4 P||12/06/99||Berlin||75,841|
|1998||FC Bayern Munich||MSV Duisburg||2-1||16/05/98||Berlin||75,800|
|1997||VfB Stuttgart||Energie Cottbus||2-0||14/06/97||Berlin||76,400|
|1996||1. FC Kaiserslautern||Karlsruher SC||1-0||25/05/96||Berlin||75,800|
|1995||B. Mönchengladbach||VfL Wolfsburg||3-0||24/06/95||Berlin||75,700|
|1994||SV Werder Bremen||Rot-Weiss Essen||3-1||14/05/94||Berlin||76,000|
|1993||Bayer Leverkusen||Hertha BSC (A)||1-0||12/06/93||Berlin||76,000|
|1992||Hannover 96||B. Mönchengladbach||0-0 4-3 P||23/05/92||Berlin||76,000|
|1991||SV Werder Bremen||1. FC Köln||1-1 4-3 P||22/06/91||Berlin||73,000|
|1990||1. FC Kaiserslautern||SV Werder Bremen||3-2||19/05/90||Berlin||76,000|
|1989||Borussia Dortmund||SV Werder Bremen||4-1||24/06/89||Berlin||76,000|
|1988||Eintracht Frankfurt||VfL Bochum||1-0||28/05/88||Berlin||76,000|
|1987||Hamburg SV||Stuttgarter Kickers||3-1||20/06/87||Berlin||76,000|
|1986||FC Bayern Munich||VfB Stuttgart||5-2||03/05/86||Berlin||76,000|
|1985||Bayer Uerdingen||FC Bayern Munich||2-1||26/05/85||Berlin||70,000|
|1984||FC Bayern Munich||B. Mönchengladbach||1-1 7-6 P||31/05/84||Frankfurt||61,000|
|1983||1. FC Köln||Fortuna Köln||1-0||11/06/83||Köln||61,000|
|1982||FC Bayern Munich||1. FC Nuremberg||4-2||01/05/82||Frankfurt||61,000|
|1981||Eintracht Frankfurt||1. FC Kaiserslautern||3-1||02/05/81||Stuttgart||71,000|
|1980||Fortuna Düsseldorf||1. FC Köln||2-1||04/06/80||Gelsenkirchen||56,000|
|1979||Fortuna Düsseldorf||Hertha BSC||1-0 ET||23/06/79||Hannover||56,000|
|1978||1. FC Köln||Fortuna Düsseldorf||2-0||15/04/78||Gelsenkirchen||70,000|
|1977||1. FC Köln||Hertha BSC|| 1-1 ET|
|1976||Hamburger SV||1. FC Kaiserslautern||2-0||26/06/76||Frankfurt||61,000|
|1975||Eintracht Frankfurt||MSV Duisburg||1-0||21/06/75||Hannover||43,000|
|1974||Eintracht Frankfurt||Hamburger SV||3-1 ET||17/08/74||Düsseldorf||52,000|
|1973||B. Mönchengladbach||1. FC Köln||2-1 ET||23/06/73||Düsseldorf||69,000|
|1972||FC Schalke 04||1. FC Kaiserslautern||5-0||01/07/72||Hannover||61,000|
|1971||FC Bayern Munich||1. FC Köln||2-1 ET||19/06/71||Stuttgart||71,000|
|1970||Kickers Offenbach||1. FC Köln||2-1||29/08/70||Hannover||50,000|
|1969||FC Bayern Munich||FC Schalke 04||2-1||14/06/69||Frankfurt||60,000|
|1968||1. FC Köln||VfL Bochum||4-1||09/06/68||Ludwigshafen||60,000|
|1967||FC Bayern Munich||Hamburger SV||4-0||10/06/67||Stuttgart||67,000|
|1966||FC Bayern Munich||Meidericher SV||4-2||04/06/66||Frankfurt||62,000|
|1965||Borussia Dortmund||Alemannia Aachen||2-0||22/05/65||Hannover||55,000|
|1964||TSV 1860 Munich||Eintracht Frankfurt||2-0||13/06/64||Stuttgart||45,000|
|1963||Hamburger SV||Borussia Dortmund||3-0||14/08/63||Hannover||68,000|
|1962||1. FC Nuremberg||Fortuna Düsseldorf||2-1 ET||29/08/62||Hannover||41,000|
|1961||SV Werder Bremen||1. FC Kaiserslautern||2-0||13/09/61||Gelsenkirchen||18,000|
|1960||B. Mönchengladbach||Karlsruher SC||3-2||05/10/60||Düsseldorf||50,000|
|1959||Schwarz-Weiss Essen||Borussia Neunkirchen||5-2||27/12/59||Kassel||20,000|
|1958||VfB Stuttgart||Fortuna Düsseldorf||4-3 ET||16/10/58||Kassel||28,000|
|1957||FC Bayern Munich||Fortuna Düsseldorf||1-0||29/12/57||Augsburg||42,000|
|1956||Karlsruher SC||Hamburger SV||3-1||05/08/56||Karlsruhe||25,000|
|1955||Karlsruher SC||FC Schalke 04||3-2||21/05/55||Braunschweig||25,000|
|1954||VfB Stuttgart||1. FC Köln||1-0 ET||17/04/54||Ludwigshafen||60,000|
|1953||Rot-Weiss Essen||Alemannia Aachen||2-1||01/05/53||Düsseldorf||40,000|
The von Tschammer und Osten Pokal - Trophy for the Winner until 1943
|1943||First Vienna FC||Luftwaffen-SV Hamburg||3-2 ET||31/10/43||Stuttgart||45,000|
|1942||TSV 1860 Munich||FC Schalke 04||2-0||15/10/42||Berlin||80,000|
|1941||Dresdner SC||FC Schalke 04||2-1||02/10/41||Berlin||65,000|
|1940||Dresdner SC||1. FC Nuremberg||2-1 ET||01/12/40||Berlin||60,000|
|1939||1. FC Nuremberg||SV Waldhof Mannheim||2-0||08/04/40||Berlin||60,000|
|1938||Rapid Wien||FSV Frankfurt||3-1||08/01/39||Berlin||38,000|
|1937||FC Schalke 04||Fortuna Düsseldorf||2-1||09/01/38||Köln||72,000|
|1936||VfB Leipzig||FC Schalke 04||2-1||03/01/37||Berlin||70,000|
|1935||'''1. FC Nuremberg||FC Schalke 04||2-0||08/12/35||Düsseldorf||55,000|
|FC Bayern Munich||14||2|| 1957, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1998, 2000,|
2003, 2005, 2006, 2008
|SV Werder Bremen||5||3||1961, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004|
|FC Schalke 04||4||7||1937, 1972, 2001, 2002|
|1. FC Nurnberg||4||2||1935, 1939, 1963, 2007|
|1. FC Köln||4||6||1968, 1977, 1978, 1983|
|Eintracht Frankfurt||4||2||1974, 1975, 1981, 1988|
|Hamburg SV||3||3||1963, 1976, 1987|
|Borussia Mönchengladbach||3||2||1960, 1973, 1995|
|VfB Stuttgart||3||1||1954, 1958, 1997|
|Fortuna Düsseldorf||2||5||1979, 1980|
|1. FC Kaiserslautern||2||5||1990, 1996|
|Karlsruher SC||2||2||1955, 1956|
|Borussia Dortmund||2||2||1965, 1989|
|Dresdner SC||2||-||1940, 1941|
|1860 Munich||2||-||1942, 1964|
|Bayer 04 Leverkusen||1||1||1993|
|Bayer 05 Uerdingen||1||-||1985|
|First Vienna FC||1||-||1943|
|Hertha BSC Berlin||-||2||-|
|SC Fortuna Köln||-||1||-|
|Hertha BSC Berlin (Amateur team)||-||1||-|
|1. FC Union Berlin||-||1||-|
|SV Waldhof Mannheim||-||1||-|
East Germany also had its own national cup: the FDGB Pokal, the cup of the Freie Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund, the association of the East German trade unions. It was introduced in 1949 and awarded annually until 1991 after German reunification in 1990 led to the merger of the football leagues of the two Germanys.
Since 1981 women's football clubs have competed for the Women's German Cup (Frauen-DFB-Pokal).