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LMT Virslīga
Current sport.svg 2010 season
Virsliga.png
Founded
1927
Nation
 Latvia
Relegation To
Latvian First League
Number of Teams
10
Level on Pyramid
Level 1
European Qualification
Champions League
Europa League
Domestic Cups
Latvian Cup
Current Champions (2009)
FK Liepājas Metalurgs
Website
Latvian Football Federation
Latvian Football Forum

The Latvian Higher League (Latvian: Virslīga) is the top tier of association football in Latvia and is organised by the Latvian Football Federation. The new season kicks off in April of every year, and runs until early November. There are no games in winter because of the harsh climate. Since 2006 the Latvian Higher League is sponsored by Latvijas Mobilais Telefons and officially called LMT Virslīga. Some of the matches of the Virslīga are transmitted by the Latvian TV channel LTV7.

Contents

League format

Up to and including the 2007 season, there were eight clubs in the Virslīga. During the course of the season each club played all the other clubs four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents, completing a total of 28 games.

However, for the 2008 season the league has expanded to ten clubs, and the fixture format has changed. To expand to ten clubs there was no relegation at the end of the 2007 season, and the top two clubs from the 1. līga 2007 season, champions FK Vindava from Ventspils, and second placed SK Blāzma from Rēzekne were both promoted.In 2009 the strongest Latvian championship LMT Virsliga will be played in four rounds with nine clubs. During the course of the season each clubs plays others four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents, for a total of 36 games. At the end of season, the lowest placed team are automatically relegated into Traffic 1. liga, and winner of the Traffic 1. liga automatically takes its place. The second lowest placed team in Virsliga and second team of 1. liga plays two matches for place in the Virsliga in next season. The winner of LMT Virsliga, champion of Latvia, plays in UEFA Champions League qualifying round. The second and third placed clubs plays in UEFA Cup qualifying games. The fourth placed team takes part in UEFA Intertoto Cup qualifyers.[1]

At the end of the season, the club finishing bottom of the Virslīga is automatically relegated to the 1. līga, and the champions of the 1. līga are automatically promoted, taking the place of the relegated club. The club that finishes next to bottom in the Virslīga play a two-legged playoff for the final place in the Virslīga for the next season with the club that finishes second in the 1. līga.[1]

Virslīga clubs (2010)

Location of teams in the Latvian Higher League 2010
Club Location Stadium Capacity Current manager
SK Blāzma Rēzekne Sporta Aģentūras Stadions 3,000 Latvia Žanis Ārmanis
FC Daugava Daugavpils Celtnieks Stadium 4,100 Russia Aleksandr Laptev
FK Jaunība Rīga Latvijas Universitates stadions 5,000 Latvia Sergejs Davidovs
FK Jelgava Jelgava Stadions "Daugava" ??? Latvia Vladimirs Beļajevs
FK Jūrmala-VV Jūrmala Slokas Stadium 5,000 Latvia Vladimirs Babičevs
Metalurgs Liepāja Daugava Stadium 5,100 Germany Rüdiger Abramczik
JFK Olimps/RFS Riga Daugava Stadium 5,000 Netherlands Anton Joore
Skonto FC Riga Skonto Stadium 9,000 Latvia Aleksandrs Starkovs
FC Tranzīts Ventspils Ventspils 2. pamatskolas stadions 500 Russia Aleksandr Gorbachov
FK Ventspils Ventspils Olimpiskais Stadium 3,200 Italy Nunzio Zavettieri

Past Virslīga winners

Season Winner Total wins* Remarks Runner-up
2009 SK Liepājas Metalurgs 2 (2) FK Ventspils
2008 FK Ventspils 3 (3)   SK Liepājas Metalurgs
2007 FK Ventspils 2 (2) Also won the Latvian Cup SK Liepājas Metalurgs
2006 FK Ventspils 1 (1)   FHK Liepājas Metalurgs
2005 FHK Liepājas Metalurgs 1 (1)   Skonto FC
2004 Skonto FC 13 (14)   FHK Liepājas Metalurgs
2003 Skonto FC 12 (13)   FHK Liepājas Metalurgs
2002 Skonto FC 11 (12) Also won the Latvian Cup FK Ventspils
2001 Skonto FC 10 (11) Also won the Latvian Cup FK Ventspils
2000 Skonto FC 9 (10) Also won the Latvian Cup FK Ventspils
1999 Skonto FC 8 (9)   FHK Liepājas Metalurgs
1998 Skonto FC 7 (8) Also won the Latvian Cup FHK Liepājas Metalurgs
1997 Skonto FC 6 (7) Undefeated in the league,
also won the Latvian Cup
Daugava Rīga
1996 Skonto FC 5 (6)   Daugava Rīga
1995 Skonto FC 4 (5) Undefeated in the league,
also won the Latvian Cup
Dinaburg FC
1994 Skonto FC 3 (4) Undefeated in the league RAF Jelgava
1993 Skonto FC 2 (3)   Olimpija Rīga
1992 Skonto FC 1 (2) Also won the Latvian Cup RAF Jelgava
1944 - - Tournament interrupted due to Soviet invasion -
1943 ASK 3 (3) Undefeated in the league,
also won the Latvian Cup
Olimpija Liepāja
1942 ASK 2 (2) Undefeated in the league Olimpija Liepāja
1941 - - Tournament interrupted due to German invasion -
1939-40 Rīgas FK 5 (8) Also won the Latvian Cup Olimpija Liepāja
1938-39 Olimpija Liepāja 7 (7)   ASK
1937-38 Olimpija Liepāja 6 (6)   Rīgas FK
1936 Olimpija Liepāja 5 (5) Undefeated in the league ASK
1935 Rīgas FK 4 (7)   Olimpija Liepāja
1934 Rīgas FK 3 (6)   Riga Wanderers
1933 Olimpija Liepāja 4 (4)   Rīgas FK
1932 ASK 1 (1)   Riga Wanderers
1931 Rīgas FK 2 (5)   Olimpija Liepāja
1930 Rīgas FK 1 (4)   Olimpija Liepāja
1929 Olimpija Liepāja 3 (3) Undefeated in the league Rīgas FK
1928 Olimpija Liepāja 2 (2)   Rīgas FK
1927 Olimpija Liepāja 1 (1)   Rīgas FK
* Virslīga championships (total Latvian football championships)
Up to 1927, the winners of the First Division of the Football League were the Latvian football champions.
From 1945 till 1991, the winners of the First Division of the Football League were the Latvian SSR football champions.

Topscorers

Season Name Team Goals
1991 Vjačeslavs Ževnerovičs Celtnieks Rīga 27
1992 Vjačeslavs Ževnerovičs BK VEF Rīga 19
1993 Aleksandrs Jelisejevs Skonto FC 20
1994 Vladimirs Babičevs Skonto FC 14
1995 Vitālijs Astafjevs Skonto FC 19
1996 Mihails Miholaps FK Daugava Rīga 33
1997 David Chaladze Skonto FC 25
1998 Viktors Dobrecovs FK Liepājas Metalurgs 23
1999 Viktors Dobrecovs FK Liepājas Metalurgs 22
2000 Vladimirs Koļesņičenko Skonto FC 17
2001 Mihails Miholaps Skonto FC 24
2002 Mihails Miholaps Skonto FC 23
2003 Viktors Dobrecovs FK Liepājas Metalurgs 36
2004 Aleksandr Katasonov FK Liepājas Metalurgs 21
2005 Viktors Dobrecovs
Igors Sļesarčuks
FK Liepājas Metalurgs
FK Venta / FK Ventspils
18
2006 Mihails Miholaps Skonto FC 15
2007 Vīts Rimkus FK Ventspils 20
2008 Vīts Rimkus FK Ventspils 14
2009 Kristaps Grebis FK Liepājas Metalurgs 30

Riga football league winners

  • 1913 British FC Riga
  • 1914 British FC Riga
  • 1915 British FC Riga

Champions of Latvia before Virslīga

Latvian SSR champions

References

External links

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