The early chronicles of national football championships in Romania refer to the Old Kingdom (Vechiul Regat, 1811-1916) – the first independent Romanian state, which comprised the Danubian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, Transylvania belonging to Austria-Hungary until 1918. There also were controversial competitionsduring the first period of Romanian football (1909-1921) which were the cause of confusion and erroneous reporting both in Romania and abroad. After long and intensive research we can now say which tournaments are to be regarded as the Romanian championship, which was played under the auspices of the Asociaţia Sporturilor Atletica din România (ASAR, founded in 1909). The ASAR was soon renamed Asociaia Cluburilor de Fotbal din România(ACFR). The Federaţia Societilor Sportive din România(FSSR) was founded in 1912 and henceforth in charge of Romanian football. As such it can be regarded a forerunner of the Romanian Football Federation.
All other national competitions during this first period are considered in official cup tournaments played under a league system. The first such competition, the Cupa Hans Herzog, was held from March 2 to April 29, 1912. Most of the matches were played on the Bucharest ground Bolt Rece [Cold Bower]. The winners, a club from Ploieti, were awarded the trophy on June 2, 1912, at the Bucharest dairy “Flora”. Tragically, their player H. Petit died of pneumonia after the third match day. One year previously, the trophy – which had been donated by president Hans Herzog of SC Olimpia Bucureşti – was awarded to the national champions. The players of Bucharest Football Club wore the Bucharest coat-of-arms on their jerseys. The total goal tally in the final table is off by three goals, but it was not possible to pinpoint the mistake.
|1. United AC Ploieşti||6||5||1||–||38: 9||11: 1|
|2. CA Colentina Bucureşti||6||3||1||2||24:23||7: 5|
|3. SC Olimpia Bucureşti||6||1||3||2||15:20||5: 7|
|4. Bukarester FC||6||–||1||5||6:28||1:11|
The first edition of theHarwaster Cup– a tournament named after the International Harwaster Corporation (IHC), a foreign company whose Romanian branch was based in Bucharest – was played in September 1913, although only three clubs in the first division participated. This tournament was cancelled after four of six matches had been played and Bucharest IHC FC declared as victory. A parallel Harwaster Cupwas held for clubs in the second division.
AC: Athletic Club; CA: Clubul Atletic; SC: Sport Club.
|1. Bukarester FC||2||2||–||–||6:0||4:0|
|2. CS Colţea Bucureşti||3||1||–||2||6:7||2:4|
|3. CA Colentina Bucureşti||3||1||–||2||3:8||2:4|
The Cupa Alexandru Belliowas held from September 8 to October 13, 1913. It should have been contested by five teams, but United Athletic Club Ploieşti was dissolved shortly before the first match day. This tournament eventually was cancelled and Bucharest FC declared the winners. Representatives of CA Colentina later held that their team had won instead. This trophy, which was donated by and named after Alexandru Bellio, the new president of SC Olimpia Bucureşti, still had passed to the national champions the previous year. Cercul Atletic Bucuretean was the successor of Cercul Atletic Bucureşti.
|1. Bukarester FC||4||3||–||1||10:3||6:2|
|2. CA Colentina Bucureşti||3||2||–||1||7:1||4:2|
|3. CA Bucureştean||3||1||–||2||1:9||2:4|
|4. SC Olimpia Bucureşti||2||–||–||2||0:5||0:4|
The Harwaster Cupwas held for a second time in January and February 1915, although only the three strongest clubs in Romania took part. On February 1, 1915, Bucharest International Harwaster Corporation Football Club (IHC FC) met local rivals Colea FC under extreme cold and on a snowed-up pitch. The match finished a draw even though IHC had only fielded eight players. Although the teams points are known for this tournament, not all the goals were recorded. This tournament was also known as Spring Cup.
|1. Bukarester IHC FC||2||1||1||–||(2:2)||3:1|
|2. Colţea FC Bucureşti||2||–||2||–||(2:2)||2:2|
|3. CA Colentina Bucureşti||2||–||1||1||( : )||1:3|
TheHarwaster Cupwas held again that year, from September 6 to December 1915. This tournament, also known as Autumn(Fall)Cup, was contested by six teams of the first category. Three matches were not played, however. It must therefore remain speculation whether Româno-American FC would really have won. Their goalkeeper Hans Hoering still was tending goal for Bucharest IHC FC in spring of that year.
|1. Româno-American FC Bucureşti||9||7||2||–||31: 4||16: 2|
|2. Prahova FC Ploieşti||9||6||3||–||50:12||15: 3|
|3. CA Colentina Bucureşti||9||5||1||3||21:16||11: 7|
|4. Bukarester IHC FC||10||3||–||7||13:31||6:14|
|5. Colţea FC Bucureşti||9||2||–||7||5:37||4:14|
|6. Excelsior-Oltenia Craiova||8||1||–||7||11:31||2:14|
On August 16, 1916, Romania officially entered World War Iwhen it joined the Triple Entente. (This was an alliance of England, France and Russia against the Triple Alliance of Imperial Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, although Italy made a secret agreement with France, thus effectively withdrawing from the Alliance.) This also put a stop to football in Romania, as all competition was put on hold. Following World War I, the provinces of Transilvania (Banat), Bucovina and Basarabia (Bessarabia) reverted to the Romanian Old Kingdom. These, however, held their own regional competitions at first, so that clubs in the Old Kingdom continued to set the standard.
Starting March 10, 1919, the presumably four strongest teams in Romania contested the Cupa Jean Luca P. Niculescu. The trophy was named after its donor, and was awarded to the national champion in 1916. The matches of this so-called Spring Cupwere played at the Bucharest Sports Park. However, the tournament was cancelledMay 25, 1919, after the Venus – Colţea (2:0) derby and Venus Athletic Sport Club (Venus ASC) declared the champions. The Uniunea Cluburilor de Fotbal Asociaţie(UCFA) was founded on July 21, 1919, replacing the Federaţia Societilor Sportive din România(FSSR) and effectively becoming the forerunner of the Romanian national FA.
|1. Venus ASC Bucureşti||4||3||–||1||5:4||6:2|
|2. CA Universitar Bucureşti||3||1||2||–||6:3||4:2|
|3. Tricolor FC Bucureşti||3||1||1||1||2:2||3:3|
|4. Colţea FC Bucureşti||4||–||1||3||1:5||1:7|
Venus ASC Bucureşti: Back, f. l. t. r. (players only) Onoriu Nicolau, Alfons Amuday, Molnar Geza, Cornel Deldebio, Al. Nicolau, Anghel Dumitrescu, Martin Himmer, Mitty Niculescu; Middle, f. l. t. r. Stefan Vasiliu, T. Florian, Mircea Teclu; Front, f. l. t. r. Stefan Stănescu, G. Siracu, Richard Bolton, Constantin Manolache, ? .
The Cupa Jean Luca P. Niculescuwas held again from March 21 to June 13, 1920, with seven teams participating. This Spring Cup was not played through due to the heat wave which hit Romania at the time. The final scores of some matches were evidently decided without the matches ever being played, although the goal ratio was not tampered with. coal Militar de Educaie Fizică was the physical education team from the Bucharest Military Academy. Special was a team formed by the sports association of schools near roads and bridges and the sports department of the Bucharest Sylviculture (Forest Research and Management) Institute. When Venus and Educaie Fizică finished even on points, the UCFA ruled for a play-off. Only Venus appeared, however, and so were declared the winners.
|1. Venus ASC Bucureşti||12||7||3||2||8: 3||17: 7|
|2. SM Educaţie Fizică||12||8||1||3||9: 5||17: 7|
|3. Tricolor FC Bucureşti||12||6||3||3||10: 5||15: 9|
|4. Prahova FC Ploieşti||12||5||1||6||11: 7||11:13|
|5. Colţea FC Bucureşti||12||4||3||5||11:11||11:13|
|6. Excelsior FC Bucureşti||12||2||1||9||4:10||5:19|
|7. Specială Bucureşti||12||1||2||9||5:17||4:20|
The Cupa Jean Luca P. Niculescuwas held again from October 3 to November 1920. The matches of this Autumn Cup were also played at the Bucharest Sports Park. There were many protests, and some scores were decided without the matches ever being played. In the end, the competition was cancelled and Tricolor declared the winners. Oltenia Craiova was the successor of Excelsior-Oltenia Craiova.
|1. Tricolor FC Bucureşti||7||7||–||–||16:0||14:0|
|2. Prahova FC Ploieşti||4||3||–||1||6:1||6:2|
|3. Colţea FC Bucureşti||4||2||1||1||3:4||5:3|
|4. Venus ASC Bucureşti||6||1||2||3||6:7||4:8|
|5. Excelsior FC Bucureşti||4||1||–||3||1:8||2:6|
|6. SM Educaţie Fizică||5||–||1||4||1:7||1:9|
|7. Oltenia Craiova||2||–||–||2||1:7||0:4|
It would be 13 years before the official Romanian Cup was held.