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Apr 2, 2014

DFB 'planning German cup reform'

The German Football Association (DFB) is planning to reform the German cup, say reports in the German media.

Daniel van Buyten and Franck Ribery celebrate Bayern's DFB-Pokal sucess
Bayern Munich won the DFB-Pokal cup last season as part of their treble-winning campaign.

• Honigstein: Loss of Hoeness
• Hesse: Extra in the tank

Sport Bild reported on Wednesday that according to a secret document, Bundesliga teams will no longer have home-team advantage against clubs from the second German division.

The German cup system currently has several restrictions. In the first round, the 64 participants are divided into two separate pots.

Pot one consists of the 18 Bundesliga clubs and the 14 best-placed 2.Bundesliga teams from the previous season.

The other 32 teams -- mostly amateur teams -- are placed in pot 2, and have the home-team advantage.

In the second round of the DFB-Pokal, the remaining amateur teams -- from Bundesliga III downwards -- are again placed in one pot and the Bundesliga clubs in another. Again, the amateur teams have the home-team advantage.

If a team from the second tier is drawn against a Bundesliga club, they only have the home-team advantage if they are first out of the pot.

In the semifinal of this season's competition, this means that second division club Kaiserslautern has to travel to Bayern Munich, where they will face a formidable test.

But according to a secret document, the DFB now plans to also hand the home-team advantage to Bundesliga II clubs to increase the likeliness of a cup upset.

The DFB is also considering seeding for the quarter and semifinals of the competition to avoid clashes between the top sides, and make the cup more attractive for "fans, networks and sponsors," Sport Bild said.

The German Football League (DFL) also wants to fine tune the DFB-Pokal and has proposed that the clubs playing in Europe will no longer participate in first cup round, once the current TV contract have been fulfilled in 2016.

"The clubs competing in Europe have voiced their concern about the time for regeneration for players, especially after a European Championship or a World Cup," DFL executive Andreas Rettig told the paper.

"We are in talks with the DFB about this. This concern could even be increased by the newly created Nations League."

The German Football League has also questioned the status of the German cup final as the last highlight of the domestic season. Currently, the domestic season ends with the cup final in Berlin.

The only time this was not the case in recent years was in 2008, when Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich played the German cup final in mid-April due to the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland that year.

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