The Baltic Cup (Estonian: Balti turniir, Latvian: Baltijas kauss, Lithuanian: Baltijos taurė) is an international football competition contested by the national teams of the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Finland has also participated in the event twice as a guest. Though originally held annually the competition has been biennial since 2008. The 2020 tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic, and took place in 2021.
It is one of the oldest national teams football tournaments in Europe after the British Home Championship, and the oldest of the ones still organized.
As Estonia had unofficially declared itself the Baltic football champion in 1925, 1926 and 1927 based on matches played with Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland it was decided in 1928 to organize an official tournament. Though Poland and Finland were invited to join, the tournament took place between the three Baltic nations.
The tournament was intended to improve relations between the nations, but intrigues around the organization and budget questions worked against this noble goal. The hosts always did everything to wear out their competitors. In 1933 Lithuanian hosts surprised the officials with a tour to a local brewery in the morning before the Lithuania–Latvia match. The Estonian newspaper Päevaleht reported that the Finnish referee for the match was really jolly, but did a horrible job, mostly favouring the Lithuanian hosts. The rules demanded that at least two wins were necessary to win the championship. Both Lithuania–Estonia and Lithuania–Latvia matches had been drawn but stopped due to darkness. In the team meeting Latvia demanded that Lithuania–Estonia match should be re-played first. Latvia was hoping for an advantage against a tired Lithuanian team in their match. Lithuania and Estonia disagreed, noting that Latvia had won their match against Estonia, so a Latvian win against Lithuania would grant the Latvians the championship and end the tournament. Consensus was not reached and the Latvian team left the same day. The championship was not awarded.
The feud led to the cancellation of the 1934 tournament, but the championship returned for the 1935. The rules were changed so that extra matches were now only held between leading teams if they were necessary for deciding on the championship.
- As of 2020.
- As of 2020. Including the 1933 tournament, but excluding the reply match played on 5 September 1933.