Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic; the dominant religions in the country are Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2, making it the largest country within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world; the territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation in the 13th century, the territory was contested and divided by a variety of powers, including Lithuania, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was split between Poland and the Russian Empire, merged into the Russian-dominated Soviet Union in the late 1940s as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
In 1991 Ukraine gained its independence from the Soviet Union in the aftermath of its dissolution at the end of the Cold War. Before its independence, Ukraine was referred to in English as "The Ukraine", but most sources have since moved to drop "the" from the name of Ukraine in all uses. Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government; these events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014, the War in Donbass in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.
Ukraine is ranks 88th on the Human Development Index. As of 2018, Ukraine has the second lowest GDP per capita in Europe. At US$40, it has the lowest median wealth per adult in the world, it suffers from a high poverty rate and severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the world's largest grain exporters. Ukraine maintains the second-largest military in Europe after that of Russia; the country is home to a multi-ethnic population, 77.8 percent of whom are Ukrainians, followed by a large Russian minority, as well as Georgians, Belarusians, Crimean Tatars, Jews and Hungarians. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative and judicial branches; the country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization, one of the founding states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There are different hypotheses as to the etymology of the name Ukraine. According to the older widespread hypothesis, it means "borderland", while some more recent linguistic studies claim a different meaning: "homeland" or "region, country"."The Ukraine" used to be the usual form in English, but since the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine, "the Ukraine" has become less common in the English-speaking world, style-guides recommend not using the definite article.
"The Ukraine" now implies disregard for the country's sovereignty, according to U. S. ambassador William Taylor. The Ukrainian position is that the usage of "'The Ukraine' is incorrect both grammatically and politically." Neanderthal settlement in Ukraine is seen in the Molodova archaeological sites which include a mammoth bone dwelling. The territory is considered to be the location for the human domestication of the horse. Modern human settlement in Ukraine and its vicinity dates back to 32,000 BC, with evidence of the Gravettian culture in the Crimean Mountains. By 4,500 BC, the Neolithic Cucuteni–Trypillia culture flourished in wide areas of modern Ukraine including Trypillia and the entire Dnieper-Dniester region. During the Iron Age, the land was inhabited by Cimmerians and Sarmatians. Between 700 BC and 200 BC it was Scythia. Beginning in the sixth century BC, colonies of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and the Byzantine Empire, such as Tyras and Chersonesus, were founded on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea.
These colonies thrived well into the 6th century AD. The Goths stayed in the area but came under the sway of the Huns from the 370s AD. In the 7th century AD, the territory of eastern Ukraine was the centre of Old Great Bulgaria. At the end of the century, the majority of Bulgar tribes migrated in different directions, the Khazars took over much of the land. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Antes were located in the territory of; the Antes were the ancestors of Ukrainians: White Croats, Polans, Dulebes and Tiverians. Migrations from Ukraine throughout the Balkans established many Southern Slavic nations. Northern migrations, reaching to the Ilmen l
Panathinaikos Football Club, known as Panathinaikos, or by its full name, the name of its parent sports club, Panathinaikos A. O. or PAO, is a Greek professional football club based in the capital-city of Athens. The name "Panathinaikos" was inspired by the ancient work of Isocrates, where the orator praises the Athenians for their democratic education and their military superiority, used for the benefit of all Greeks. Today a part of Panathinaikos A. O. they are the oldest active football club in Greece founded only to practice this sport. Created in 1908 as "Podosfairikos Omilos Athinon" by Georgios Kalafatis, they play in the Super League Greece, being one of the most successful clubs in Greek football and one of three clubs which have never been relegated from the top division. Amongst their major titles are 20 Greek Championships, 18 Greek Cups, achieving eight times the Double, 3 Greek Super Cups, they are the only club that won a championship undefeated, going without a loss in a top-flight campaign, a feat that no other club in Greece has been able to achieve.
Panathinaikos is the most successful Greek club in terms of achievements in the European competitions. It is the only Greek team that has reached the European Cup final in 1971, the semi-finals twice, in 1985 and 1996, it is the only Greek team that has played for the Intercontinental Cup. Furthermore, they have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on another two occasions, as well as the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup twice, they have won the Balkans Cup in 1977. Panathinaikos is a member of the European Club Association. Since the 1950s, the club maintains some of the oldest and most successful academies in Greece, producing talent for the first team and feeding the Greek national football team. Panathinaikos became professional and independent in 1979, they have played their home games in the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, considered their traditional home ground, the Athens Olympic Stadium. According to the most recent researches and polls, Panathinaikos is the second-most popular football team in Greece, with the percentage difference between Olympiacos and themselves varying between 2% to 9%.
The club has million of fans inside Greece and millions of others in the Greek communities all over the world. They hold a long-term rivalry with Olympiacos, the clash between the two teams being referred to as the "Derby of the eternal enemies."The derby of the eternal enemies is traditionally included among the world's top 10 greatest football derbies, by the international media, compared with rivalries such as Boca Juniors-River Plate, Real Madrid-Barcelona, Rangers-Celtic,Galatasaray-Fenerbahce and Manchester United-Liverpool. According to the official history of the club, Panathinaikos was founded by Giorgos Kalafatis on 3 February 1908, when he and 40 other athletes decided to break away from Panellinios Gymnastikos Syllogos following the club's decision to discontinue its football team; the name of the new club was "Podosferikos Omilos Athinon". It was founded with the aim of spreading and making more known this new sport to the Athenian and Greek public in general; the intention of the founders was to create a team for all of Athens and to be connected with the rest of the European football movement, active.
The first president elected was Alexandros Kalafatis, brother of Giorgos. The ground of the team was in Patission Street. Oxford University athlete John Cyril Campbell was brought in as coach, the first time that a foreigner was appointed as the coach of a Greek team. Konstantinos Tsiklitiras, the great Greek athlete of the early 20th century, played as goalkeeper for the new team. In 1910, after a dispute among a number of board members, Kalafatis with most of the players—also followed by Campbell—decided to pull out of POA and secured a new ground in Amerikis Square. Subsequently, the name of the club changed to Panellinios Podosferikos Omilos and its colours to green and white. By 1914, Campbell had returned to England but the club was at the top of Greek football with players such as Michalis Papazoglou, Michalis Rokkos and Loukas Panourgias. In 1918, the team adopted the trifolium as its emblem. In 1921 and 1922, the Athens-Piraeus FCA organized the first two post-WWI championships, in both of which PPO was declared champion.
By that stage, the club had outgrown both the grounds in Patission Street and Amerikis Square, due to its expansion in other sports, began to look at vacant land in the area of Perivola on Alexandras Avenue as its potential new ground. After long discussions with the Municipality of Athens, an agreement was reached and in 1922 Leoforos was granted to the club; the move to a permanent home ground heralded another—final—name change to Panathinaikos Athlitikos Omilos, "All-Athenian Athletic Club", on 15 March 1924, from now on a multi-sport club. However, the decision was taken by 1922. In 1926, the Hellenic Football Federation was founded and the first Greek Championship under its authority took place in 1927. Panathinaikos won undefeated the Championship of 1929–30 under the guidance of József Künsztler and Angelos Messaris as the team's star player. Other notable players of this Belle Époque period of the team were Antonis Migiakis, Diomidis Symeonidis, Mimis Pierrakos and Stefanos Pierrakos, amo
Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for association football and beach soccer in Europe, although several member states are or located in Asia. It is one of six continental confederations of world football's governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members. UEFA represents the national football associations of Europe, runs nation and club competitions including the UEFA European Championship, UEFA Nations League, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, controls the prize money and media rights to those competitions. Henri Delaunay was Ebbe Schwartz the first president; the current president is Aleksander Čeferin, a former Football Association of Slovenia president, elected as UEFA's seventh president at the 12th Extraordinary UEFA Congress in Athens in September 2016, automatically became a vice-president of the world body FIFA. UEFA was founded on 15 June 1954 in Basel, Switzerland after consultation between the Italian and Belgian associations.
The European football union began with 25 members. Until 1959 the main headquarters were located in Paris, in Bern. In 1995, UEFA headquarters were transferred to Switzerland. UEFA membership coincides for the most part with recognition as a sovereign country in Europe, although there are some exceptions; some states are not members. Some UEFA members are not sovereign states, but form part of a larger recognised sovereign state in the context of international law; these include Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, the Faroe Islands, Kosovo, however in the context of these countries government functions concerning sport tend to be carried at the territorial level coterminous with the UEFA member entity. Some UEFA members are transcontinental states and others are considered part of Europe both culturally and politically. Countries, members of the Asian Football Confederation were admitted to the European football association Israel and Kazakhstan. Additionally some UEFA member associations allow teams from outside their association's main territory to take part in their "domestic" competition.
AS Monaco, for example, takes part in the French League. F. C. participate in the English League. Derry City, situated in Northern Ireland, plays in the Republic of Ireland-based League of Ireland and the 7 native Liechtensteinian teams play in the Swiss Leagues. Saarland Football Union, joined Football Association of West Germany Football Association of East Germany, joined Football Association of West Germany as German Football Association Football Federation of the Soviet Union. Four other successor republics formed their own football organisations. Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro. Montenegro, which exited the union, created the Football Association of Montenegro, it competed as FR Yugoslavia until 2003 when the country changed its name to Montenegro. Football Association of Czechoslovakia, became Football Association of the Czech Republic and Slovak Football Association with the Football Association of the Czech Republic acknowledged as its direct successor. Lithuania, in 1990 sanctions were imposed due to secession of Lithuanian Football Federation from the Football Federation of Soviet Union Yugoslavia, in 1992-1998 sanctions were imposed due to the Bosnian War Italy, in 1974-1975 sanctions were imposed against SS Lazio due to its fans, Italy was restricted from the European Cup to which Lazio qualified England, in 1985-1991 sanctions were imposed against English association football clubs due to the Heysel Stadium disaster by suspending their participation in continental competitions for five years Netherlands, in 1991-1992 sanctions were imposed against AFC Ajax due to its fans, the Netherlands were restricted from the European Cup to which Ajax qualified Albania, in 1967 special sanctions were imposed against 1966–67 Albanian Superliga due to its political background 1968–69 the Warsaw Pact demonstrated political protest and imposed sanctions on clubs of its members in continental competitions (included E
Tokyo Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world; the urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603, it became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is referred to as a city but is known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo; the 23 Special Wards of Tokyo were Tokyo City. On July 1, 1943, it merged with Tokyo Prefecture and became Tokyo Metropolis with an additional 26 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture, the Izu islands and Ogasawara islands south of Tokyo.
The population of the special wards is over 9 million people, with the total population of Tokyo Metropolis exceeding 13.8 million. The prefecture is part of the world's most populous metropolitan area called the Greater Tokyo Area with over 38 million people and the world's largest urban agglomeration economy; as of 2011, Tokyo hosted 51 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest number of any city in the world at that time. Tokyo ranked third in the International Financial Centres Development Index; the city is home to various television networks such as Fuji TV, Tokyo MX, TV Tokyo, TV Asahi, Nippon Television, NHK and the Tokyo Broadcasting System. Tokyo third in the Global Cities Index; the GaWC's 2018 inventory classified Tokyo as an alpha+ world city – and as of 2014 TripAdvisor's World City Survey ranked Tokyo first in its "Best overall experience" category. As of 2018 Tokyo ranked as the 2nd-most expensive city for expatriates, according to the Mercer consulting firm, and the world's 11th-most expensive city according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's cost-of-living survey.
In 2015, Tokyo was named the Most Liveable City in the world by the magazine Monocle. The Michelin Guide has awarded Tokyo by far the most Michelin stars of any city in the world. Tokyo was ranked first out of all sixty cities in the 2017 Safe Cities Index; the QS Best Student Cities ranked Tokyo as the 3rd-best city in the world to be a university student in 2016 and 2nd in 2018. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics, the 1979 G-7 summit, the 1986 G-7 summit, the 1993 G-7 summit, will host the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Summer Olympics and the 2020 Summer Paralympics. Tokyo was known as Edo, which means "estuary", its name was changed to Tokyo when it became the imperial capital with the arrival of Emperor Meiji in 1868, in line with the East Asian tradition of including the word capital in the name of the capital city. During the early Meiji period, the city was called "Tōkei", an alternative pronunciation for the same characters representing "Tokyo", making it a kanji homograph; some surviving official English documents use the spelling "Tokei".
The name Tokyo was first suggested in 1813 in the book Kondō Hisaku, written by Satō Nobuhiro. When Ōkubo Toshimichi proposed the renaming to the government during the Meiji Restoration, according to Oda Kanshi, he got the idea from that book. Tokyo was a small fishing village named Edo, in what was part of the old Musashi Province. Edo was first fortified in the late twelfth century. In 1457, Ōta Dōkan built Edo Castle. In 1590, Tokugawa Ieyasu was transferred from Mikawa Province to Kantō region; when he became shōgun in 1603, Edo became the center of his ruling. During the subsequent Edo period, Edo grew into one of the largest cities in the world with a population topping one million by the 18th century, but Edo was Tokugawa's home and was not capital of Japan. The Emperor himself lived in Kyoto from 794 to 1868 as capital of Japan. During the Edo era, the city enjoyed a prolonged period of peace known as the Pax Tokugawa, in the presence of such peace, Edo adopted a stringent policy of seclusion, which helped to perpetuate the lack of any serious military threat to the city.
The absence of war-inflicted devastation allowed Edo to devote the majority of its resources to rebuilding in the wake of the consistent fires and other devastating natural disasters that plagued the city. However, this prolonged period of seclusion came to an end with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Commodore Perry forced the opening of the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate, leading to an increase in the demand for new foreign goods and subsequently a severe rise in inflation. Social unrest mounted in the wake of these higher prices and culminated in widespread rebellions and demonstrations in the form of the "smashing" of rice establishments. Meanwhile, supporters of the Meiji Emperor leveraged the disruption that t
Olympiacos Football Club known as Olympiacos, Olympiacos Piraeus or with its full name as Olympiacos C. F. P. is a Greek professional football club based in Athens. Part of the major multi-sport club Olympiacos CFP, their name was inspired from the ancient Olympic Games and along with the club's emblem, the laurel-crowned Olympic athlete, symbolize the Olympic ideals of ancient Greece, their home ground is a 32,115-capacity stadium in Piraeus. Founded on 10 March 1925, Olympiacos is the most successful club in Greek football history, having won 44 League titles, 27 Cups and 4 Super Cups, all records. Τotalling 75 national trophies, Olympiacos is 9th in the world in total titles won by a football club. The club's dominating success can be further evidenced by the fact that all other Greek clubs have won a combined total of 38 League titles, while Olympiacos holds the record for the most consecutive Greek League titles won, with seven in a row in two occasions, breaking their own previous record of six consecutive wins in the 1950s, when Olympiacos was unequivocally nicknamed Thrylos.
Having won the 2014–15 league title, Olympiacos became the only football club in the world to have won a series of five or more consecutive championships for five times in their history, a record, praised by FIFA with a congratulatory letter of its president, Sepp Blatter. They are the only Greek club to have won five consecutive national Cups, as well as six League titles undefeated. Olympiacos are one of only three clubs to have never been relegated from the top flight of Greek football, by winning the 2012–13 title, their 40th in total, they added a fourth star above their crest, each one representing 10 League titles. In European competitions, Olympiacos best performances are their presence in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in 1998–99, losing the semi-final spot in the last minutes of their second leg match against Juventus, as well as in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals in 1992–93; the Red-Whites are the highest ranked Greek club in the UEFA rankings, occupying the 29th place in Europe as of 2018, one of the founding members of the European Club Association.
Olympiacos won the Balkans Cup in 1963, at a time when the competition was considered the second most important in the region after the European Cup, becoming the first Greek club to win an international competition. Olympiacos is the most supported football club in Greece being the most popular club in Athens, gathering strong support from Greek communities all over the world. With 83,000 registered members as of April 2006, the club was placed 9th in the 2006 list of football clubs with the most paying members in the world. Olympiacos share a long-standing rivalry with Panathinaikos, with whom they contest in the Derby of the eternal enemies, the most classic football derby in Greece and one of the most well known around the world. Olympiacos was founded on 10 March 1925, in the Athenian-port of Piraeus; the club's initial aim, as stated in the statutes, was the systematic cultivation and development of its athletes' possibilities for participation in athletic competitions, the spreading of the Olympic athletic ideal and the promotion of sportsmanship and fanship among the youth according to egalitarian principles, by stressing a healthy and social basis as its foundation.
Members of "Piraikos Podosfairikos Omilos FC" and "Piraeus Fans Club FC" decided, during a historical assembly, to dissolve the two clubs in order to establish a new unified one, which would bring this new vision and dynamic to the community. Notis Kamperos, a senior officer of the Hellenic Navy, proposed the name Olympiacos and the profile of a laurel-crowned Olympic winner as the emblem of the new club. Michalis Manouskos, a prominent Piraeus industrialist, expanded the name to its complete and current status, Olympiacos Syndesmos Filathlon Pireos. Besides Kamperos and Manouskos, among the most notable founding members were Stavros Maragoudakis, the post office director. Andrianopoulos, a family of well-established Piraeus merchants, played a pivotal role in the founding of Olympiacos; the five brothers, Dinos, Giorgos and Leonidas Andrianopoulos raised the reputation of the club and brought it to its current glory. Yiannis, Dinos and Vassilis were the first to play, while Leonidas, the youngest of the five, made his debut on and played for the club for eight years.
The club's offensive line, made up of the five brothers, became legendary, rising to a mythical status and soon Olympiacos gained enormous popularity and became the most successful and well-supported club in Greece. Back their fan base consisted of the working class, with the team's home ground at Neo Phaliron Velodrome, before moving to its current Karaiskakis Stadium, they became Piraeus Champions in 1925 and 1926. In 1926, the Hellenic Football Federation was founded and organized the Panhellenic Championship in the 1927–1928 season; this was the first national championship, where the regional champions from EPSA league, EPSP league and EPSM league
Greek Football Cup
The Greek Football Cup known as the Greek Cup or for sponsorship reasons the Football Cup OPAP, is a Greek football competition, run by the Hellenic Football Federation. Because it involves clubs of all standards playing against each other, there is the possibility for "minnows" from the lower divisions to become "giant-killers" by eliminating top clubs from the tournament and theoretically win the Cup; the current holders of the Greek Cup are PAOK, who beat AEK Athens 2–0 in the 2018 final held on 12 May 2018. The Greek Cup under EPO began in 1931. In its early years, entry was optional. Teams were paired against each other without a draw taking place. On, for many years, a proper draw took place and two-legged matches were added. In 1962, there was no cup winner because the final between Olympiacos and Panathinaikos was abandoned; until 1964, if the final score was a draw, the two teams played a replay match, while penalties didn't exist. That year, in the semi-final between Panathinaikos and Olympiacos,fans of both teams stormed the pitch, damaged the football field and stopped the game, believing that it was fixed to end in a draw, in order to be replayed for financial reasons.
Both teams were ejected from the competition and therefore,in 1964 AEK won the title but the final match was not held. AEK won in simiral fashion in 1966 when Olympiacos did not show up in the final. In 1965, a new rule was applied, to determine that, if the game was undecided after extra time, the winner would be determined by the toss of a coin. Panathinaikos won this way in the 1969 final against Olympiacos. Afterwards the penalty shootout was applied; until 1971, teams from all over the country and amateur, had been taking part. Each team first played against clubs from its own association and the winners continued in a nationwide competition. Due to this, strong professional sides met amateur neighbourhood teams, sometimes beating them with high scores. Since 1971, only teams from professional divisions are allowed to participate, while amateur clubs take part in the Amateur Cup. In 1991 and 1992 the finals were two-legged, it is considered that the most exciting match in the history of the competition was the 2009 final between Olympiacos and AEK.
Notes: • In the periods 1933–38 and 1940–46 the competition was not held. • In 1961–62 final match was abandoned. • In 1963–64 and 1965–66 final matches were not held. • Statistical paradox: 76 editions of the competition, 75 concluded with a cup winner, 74 finals. 11 clubs have won the Greek Football Cup, from a total of 6 cities. Greek Super League Greek Super Cup Greek League Cup Cup at UEFA RSSSF