Earlier this year the Ligapokal was cancelled due to fixture congestion in the aftermath of Euro ’08, but was expected to return bigger and better. Understandable, if unfortunate. Now according to kicker the old men at the DFL* have already cancelled the 2009 edition of the competition.
The reasoning behind the move? According to DFL president Reinhard Rauball questions regarding a possible increase in the 1. and 2. Bundesliga must be examined and addressed first. The plans for the revamped competition currently have all 36 members compete, but if the leagues were to expand to 20 teams apiece that would naturally alter things (the Ligapokal being just one of them). This likely wouldn’t happen until the 2012/2013 season, when the current TV rights deal (in German/in googlefied English) expires. In the meantime there’ll be a feasibility study to examine the possible increase, which will last God knows how long.
The question is, will the Ligapokal return in 2010? In 2013? Ever?
* The Deutsche Fussball-Liga, operator of Germany’s professional leagues and not to be confused with the DFB (Deutscher Fussball-Bund), otherwise known as the German FA. It doesn’t help that until 2004 the Ligapokal was known as the DFB-Ligapokal, which makes keeping the two acronyms separate and distinct that much harder.