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The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, sometimes referred to as the European Fairs Cup, Fairs Cities' Cup, or simply as the Fairs Cup, was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition was the idea of Swiss pools supremo Ernst Thommen, Ottorino Barassi from Italy, and the English Football Association general secretary Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials at the world governing body, FIFA. As the name suggests, the competition was set up to promote international trade fairs. Friendly games were regularly held between teams from cities holding trade fairs and it was from these games that the competition evolved. The competition was initially only open to teams from cities that hosted trade fairs and where these teams finished in their national league had no relevance. Early competitions also featured a one city, one team rule. After 1968, it was sometimes referred to as the Runners-up Cup, with teams now qualifying based on league position. In 1971, it came under the auspices of UEFA and was replaced by the UEFA Cup.

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup
Founded 1955
Abolished 1971
Region Europe
Number of teams 12 (First Round)
64 (Total)
Last champions England Leeds United
(2nd title)
Most successful club(s) Spain Barcelona
(3 titles)

The Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, sometimes referred to as the European Fairs Cup, Fairs Cities' Cup, or simply as the Fairs Cup, was a European football competition played between 1955 and 1971. The competition was the idea of Swiss pools supremo Ernst Thommen, Ottorino Barassi from Italy, and the English Football Association general secretary Stanley Rous, all of whom later became senior officials at the world governing body, FIFA. As the name suggests, the competition was set up to promote international trade fairs. Friendly games were regularly held between teams from cities holding trade fairs and it was from these games that the competition evolved. The competition was initially only open to teams from cities that hosted trade fairs and where these teams finished in their national league had no relevance. Early competitions also featured a one city, one team rule. After 1968, it was sometimes referred to as the Runners-up Cup, with teams now qualifying based on league position. In 1971, it came under the auspices of UEFA and was replaced by the UEFA Cup.

While the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup is recognised as the predecessor to the UEFA Cup, it was not organised by UEFA. Consequently, UEFA does not consider clubs' records in the Fairs Cup to be part of their European record. However, FIFA does view the competition as a major honour.

1969 May 29 Newcastle United England 3 Ujpest Dozsa Hungary 0 Inter Cities Fairs Cup

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1969 June 11 Ujpest Dozsa Hungary 2 Newcastle United England 3 Inter Cities Fairs Cup

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UEFA Cup Final inter cities fairs cup final 1968 Ferencvaros Hungary-LeedsUnited 0-0 Part 1

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