The FA Cup is the grandest football competition in Korea Republic with all the professional and the amateur clubs affiliated with KFA participating in the annual tournament.
The nationwide competition has provided good opportunities for relatively lesser known teams - amateur or semi-pro clubs from lower divisions - to show off and prove themselves, as the tournament is open to all the clubs around the country.
For this reason, the FA Cup has attracted the football fans who want to see upsets and surprises as the tournament has seen underdogs overcome favourites quite a few times down the years.
The predecessor to the current FA Cup was the National Football Championship that had been staged in every autumn since 1946, with all the senior sides including semi-pro, university and military clubs competing for the right to be called the best team in the peninsula.
However, the national tournament lost its meaning as a championship decider as only amateur team took part in the old competition since the professional football league was launched in 1983. This has brought about an ongoing debate on the need for a nationwide competition that is open to every team regardless of their status in the footballing hierarchy.
And the FA Cup was officially launched by KFA in 1996, when all the professional clubs as well as the amateur teams qualified from various domestic competitions participated in the inaugural tournament.
From the 2001 season, all the senior sides including semi-pro and university teams automatically qualified for the finals along with professional clubs, while higher ranked teams in the national sports council were also given opportunities to take part in. The 2003 season saw the Category 2 clubs - community and local teams registered by KFA - enter the preliminary competition prior to the tournament proper.
The knock-out tournament had been staged for a fortnight in every November, before it became a year-long competition from the 2003 season.
Pohang Steelers won the inaugural tournament in 1996, with Chunnam Dragons, Anyang LG Cheetahs, Cheonan Ilhwa Chunma, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, Daejeon Citizen and then Suwon Samsung Bluewings claiming the coveted trophy in the following seasons. Daejeon, in particular, caused quite a stir by winning the Cup in 2001 despite finishing on the bottom of the K-League that year.
The winners of the FA Cup also qualify for the following season's AFC Champions League along with top three clubs in the K-League.