Scottish Challenge Cup
From the 2016-17 season the Scottish Challenge Cup (not to be confused with the Scottish Cup or Scottish League Cup) was expanded to include teams from Wales and Northern Ireland.
The tournament, for teams outside the Scottish Premier League, was also expanded to include under-20 sides from each Premiership club and four teams from the Highland League and Lowland League entering in the first round.
For the 2018-19 edition there were 58 teams: 30 from the SPFL, 12 under-20 Scottish Premiership clubs, four each from the Highland League and Lowland League, plus two guest teams from the NIFL, Welsh Premier, English National League and League of Ireland Premier Division.
The two Welsh sides entered the competition in the second round.
The Welsh Cup has been going since 1877-78 (except during the two World Wars).
The winning team qualifies to play in the following season’s Europa League (previously teams qualified for the European Cup Winners’ Cup, which was discontinued in 1999).
Until 1995, some clubs playing in England were also invited to play in the Welsh Cup, but could not progress to the European Cup Winners’ Cup by winning the Welsh Cup, with the best-placed Welsh club taking the European place.
From 1996 to 2011, only clubs playing in the Welsh league system were allowed to enter the Welsh Cup. This rule excluded the six Welsh clubs who played in the English football league system: Cardiff City, Colwyn Bay, Merthyr Town, Newport County, Swansea City and Wrexham.
On 20 April 2011, the Football Association of Wales invited these six clubs to rejoin the Welsh Cup for the 2011–12 season, but only Merthyr Town, Newport County and Wrexham accepted.
In March 2012, UEFA stated Welsh clubs playing in the English football league system could not qualify for European competitions via the Welsh Cup but they could qualify via the English league and cup competitions, hence they were subsequently again excluded from the Welsh Cup.
Between the 1961-62 and 1984-85 seasons, the final was played as a two-leg match, originally on a points basis rather than aggregate score. In the 1985-86 season, it reverted to a single game, to be decided by extra-time and penalties as necessary.
The Welsh League Cup (also known as the League of Wales Cup, Welsh Premier League Cup, Word Cup and Nathaniel MG Cup) was established in 1992 and is considered the second-most important domestic cup competition for Welsh football clubs.
The first competition was won by Afan Lido in 1992-93; while The New Saints hold the record for the most League Cup titles, they have won the competition nine times. Bangor City hold the distinction of making the most appearances in the final without winning the competition.
The cup is currently held by Connah’s Quay, who defeated STM Sports 3-0 in the 2019-20 final.
With the introduction of the Cymru Leagues at the start of the 2019-20 season, when the Football Association of Wales took over control of the second tier of Welsh football following a review of the league pyramid, the cup format was expanded significantly to allow all 44 teams from the top two tiers to take part, as well as two wild-card entries.
The previous format, introduced in 2014-15, saw the Welsh Premier clubs joined by six teams each from the Cymru Alliance and Welsh League along with four wild-card entrants.
Round one was contested by 24 teams, with the previous season’s four semi-finalists receiving a bye through to round two.
The draw for each round was regionalised, with teams being divided between northern and southern sections. At the semi-final stage it became an open draw.