Inter-Cities Fairs Cup

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The Inter-Cities 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 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, and for the first competition (held between 1955 and 1958) a representative London XI was specially formed to compete. The side featured many Chelsea players and was managed by Chelsea chairman Joe Mears. London clubs would subsequently compete individually. 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.

Chelsea competed in the competition on three occasions, reaching the semi-finals in 1965-66.


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