Current champions Feyenoord
Website KNVB Cup
Number of teams 103
Most successful club(s) AFC Ajax (18 titles)
Current champion Feyenoord
|Instances 2016–17 KNVB Cup, 2015–16 KNVB Cup|
The KNVB Beker (English: KNVB Cup, [ˌkaːʔɛnveːˈbeː ˈbeːkər]) is a competition in the Netherlands organized by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) since 1898. It was based on the format of the English FA Cup. Outside of the Netherlands, it is often referred to as the Dutch Cup. The tournament consists of all teams from the top three tiers of Dutch league football (Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie and Topklasse), as well as the 24 semi-finalists (or replacements) of regional amateur cup tournaments. The finals of the tournament traditionally takes place in De Kuip, and has been held there every season since 1988. The winners of the cup compete against the winners of the Eredivisie for the Johan Cruijff Shield, which acts as the curtain raiser for the following season.
The competition was conceived during a board meeting of the Dutch National Football Association, in the Hague, on 19 January 1898. The tournament began the following season, 1898–1899. The first final was played on 9 May 1899 between RAP Amsterdam and HVV Den Haag. In 1946, the trophy was changed to one made out of silver, which was extremely rare in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
Like many national cup competitions, the name of the tournament has changed with sponsorship. From 1995, the competition went from being the KNVB Cup Tournament to being known as the Amstel Cup after the then sponsor Amstel. On 16 August 2005, the name was changed to the Gatorade Cup after the drinks company Gatorade. In 2006, the name returned to being the KNVB Cup Tournament with Gatorade remaining as the principal sponsor.
Up until 1998, the winner of the cup entered into the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, but with the abandonment of that tournament, the winner now goes into the UEFA Europa League. If the winning team has won the Eredivisie and thus entry into the UEFA Champions League, then the berth will be based on performance in that season's Eredivisie.
In 1998, both teams in the KNVB final, Ajax and PSV, had won places into the Champions League. So a game was played between the beaten semi-finalists, SC Heerenveen and FC Twente, to determine who would take the Cup Winners' Cup place.
In the Netherlands, the KNVB Cup is broadcast by RTL on RTL 7 and on the Dutch pay-TV channel Fox Sports Eredivisie. In Spain it is currently available on beIN Sports (Spain). In Australia and New Zealand, the KNVB Cup is currently available on beIN Sports. In Italy, the KNVB Cup is currently available on Sportitalia. In Brazil the KNVB Cup is currently available on BandSports. In Latin America, the KNVB Cup is currently available on Claro Sports.