oUEFA InterToto Cup 2000 ---------------------------------------------

This summer's Intertoto Cup kicks off on June 17th. The format, announced on April 10, follows that adopted for last year's competition while the actual participants were confirmed on June 2. Bulgarian representatives Velbazhd have decided to contest UEFA's rule that awards a UEFA Cup place to the Cup Losers (Neftohimik) instead of the 3rd placed team in the league (Velbazhd). They are unlikely to win their appeal however.

For a variety of reasons, the national associations of Portugal, Ukraine and Scotland have all refused UEFA's invitation to send clubs to participate this year while Italy's failure to muster a 3rd interested Serie A club results in England's Bradford City crowning a dramatic year with their first ever participation in Europe.


Round 1 (40)

June 17,18
June 24,25

1HB (Faroe Is) vs Lombard Tatabánya (Hungary)
2Trans Narva (Estonia) vs Ceahlaul Piatra Neamt (Romania)
3Araks (Armenia) vs Sigma Olomouc (Czech Republic 3)
4Floriana (Malta) vs StabŠk (Norway)
5Kocaelispor (Turkey) vs Atlantas (Lithuania)
6LASK Linz (Austria 3) vs Hapoel Petach-Tikva (Israel)
7Glenavon (N.Ireland) vs Slaven Belupo (Croatia 1)
8Zaglebie Lubin (Poland) vs Vilash (Azerbaijan)
9Dukla Trencin (Slovakia) vs Dinaburg (Latvia)
10Primorje (Slovenia) vs Westerlo (Belgium 2)
11Västra Frölunda (Sweden) vs Zrinjski Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina)
12Cibalia (Croatia 2) vs Obilic (Yugoslavia)
13Standard Liège (Belgium 1) vs Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia)
14Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev (Belarus) vs Silkeborg (Denmark 2)
15NeuchÔtel-Xamax (Switzerland 2) vs My-Pa 47(Finland)
16Leiftur (Iceland) vs FC Luzern (Switzerland 1)
17UCD (Rep. of Ireland) vs Velbazhd (Bulgaria)
18Nea Salamis (Cyprus) vs Vllaznia (Albania)
19Pelister (Macedonia) vs Hobscheid (Luxembourg)
20Cwmbran Town (Wales) vs Nistru Otaci (Moldova)
Round 2 (32)

July 1,2
July 8,9

AWinners 20 vs Austria Salzburg (Austria 2)
BZenit St. Petersburg (Russia 2) vs Winners 10
CPerugia (Italy 2) vs Winners 13
DWinners 18 vs Austria Wien (Austria 1)
EWinners 4 vs Auxerre (France 3)
FWinners 9 vs Aalborg (Denmark 1)
GWinners 6 vs Marila PrÝbram (Czech Republic 1)
HWinners 5 vs Bradford City (England 2)
IReal Mallorca (Spain 2) vs Winners 2
JChmel BlÜany (Czech Republic 2) vs Winners 14
KSedan-Ardennes (France 2) vs Winners 16
LWinners 15 vs VfB Stuttgart (Germany 2)
MWinners 8 vs Winners 7
NWinners 1 vs Winners 12
OWinners 19 vs Winners 11
PWinners 17 vs Winners 3

Round 3 (24)

July 15,16
July 22

Celta Vigo (Spain 1) vs Winners O
Winners F vs Udinese (Italy 1)
Winners K vs VfL Wolfsburg (Germany 1)
Winners G vs Aston Villa (England)
Winners J vs Kalamata (Greece)
Lens (France 1) vs Winners L
Winners H vs Waalwijk (Netherlands)
Rostselmash Rostov-Na-Donu (Russia 1) vs Winners E
Winners M vs Winners P
Winners C vs Winners A
Winners I vs Winners D
Winners B vs Winners N

Semi-Finals (12)

July 26
August 2

Finals (6)

August 8
August 22

Winners (3)

2000 Intertoto Background

This competition has been around for many years, primarily as a means of generating money for betting shops over the football-starved summer. In 1995, UEFA raised the competition's profile by allotting 2 places in the UEFA Cup to the 2 clubs who make it through the competition. As such, there is no Intertoto Cup winner and no trophy!

The new image was given a great boost by Bordeaux's progress from the Intertoto that first year to the UEFA Cup final. In the second year of the new look competition, only Karlsruher of the 3 'winners' (Karlsruher SC, Silkeborg and Guingamp, UEFA having decided to add another UEFA cup place) made it past the UEFA Cup 1st Round, succumbing eventually to Brøndby in the 3rd Round. The following year, of the 3 French winners, Auxerre performed best being beaten by eventual finalists Lazio in the quarter finals while both Bastia and Lyonnais were knocked out the 2nd Round in what was a disappointing year for French teams in Europe in general.

However, Bologna's achievement in 1998 in reaching the UEFA Cup Semi-Finals from the Intertoto ensured a surge in interest from clubs throughout Europe, desperate to share in the big cashfalls promised by the new season's competitions. The mighty Juventus, following their dismal domestic season in 1998, deigned to qualify for the new look UEFA Cup via the Intertoto last year and were only stopped in their march to the final by a rampant Celta Vigo in the 4th Round. The other 2 winners, West Ham United and Montpelier were both ejected in the 2nd Round.

The resounding return of the Intertoto Cup is confirmed by the quality of some of this year's participants - teams such as Aston Villa, Auxerre, Lens, Celta Vigo, Udinese, Real Mallorca and VfB Stuttgart are all desperate for the chance to play in Europe


European Club Soccer

© 1994-2000 Colm Ó Riain