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Lega Nazionale Professionisti
Lega Calcio.png
Countries Italy Italy
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1946
Divisions Serie A
Serie B
Number of teams 42
Relegation to Lega Pro
Levels on pyramid 1-2
Domestic cup(s) Coppa Italia
Supercoppa Italiana
International cup(s) Champions League
Europa League
Current champions Internazionale (2008–09)
Most championships Juventus FC (27)
TV partners SKY
Mediaset
La7
Website Lega-Calcio.it
Soccerball current event.svg Serie A 2009-10; Serie B 2009-10

The Lega Nazionale Professionisti (National League of Professionals), commonly known as Lega Calcio (Italian for Football League) is the governing body that runs the major professional football leagues in Italy.

It was founded in 1946 as Lega Nazionale after the Second World War, and took the actual name in 1960 in order to coordinate the top divisions, Serie A and Serie B, just after Italy fully recognized players' professional status. Its predecessor during the fascist era, between 1926 and 1944, was the Direttorio Divisioni Superiori (Directory of Higher Divisions), a league whom president was appointed by FIGC. Still before, the first football league in Italy was the Lega Nord (Northern League), which was composed by the major clubs of Northern Italy from 1921 to 1926.

Promotion and relegation between the divisions is a central feature of the league: at the end of the season the top Serie B clubs exchange places with the lowest placed teams in the Serie A, while the bottom clubs of Serie B switch with the top clubs of the Lega Pro, thus integrating the League into the Italian football league system.

It also organises the main Italian cup competition, the Coppa Italia, and the Supercoppa Italiana.

Contents

Competition

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League

The 42 member clubs of the Lega Calcio are grouped into two divisions: the Serie A (20 clubs) and Serie B (22 clubs). In any given season a club plays each of the others in the same division twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents. This makes for a total of 38 games played each season in Serie A and 42 in Serie B.

Clubs gain three points for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. At the end of each season, the club with the most points in the Serie A is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to-head records determine the winner. If still equal, the goal difference and then goals scored become the deciding factors. As for Serie B, at the top end three clubs win promotion to Serie A, with the bottom three Serie A clubs taking their places. At the lower end, four club are relegated to the Lega Pro Prima Divisione, while four teams from the Lega Pro join the Serie B in their stead.

Promotion and relegation are determined by final league positions, but to sustain interest for more clubs over the length of the season one promotion place from Serie B is decided according to a playoff between four clubs, which takes place at the end of the season. It is therefore possible for a team finishing sixth in the championship to be promoted rather than the clubs finishing immediately above them in the standings. Likewise, one relegation place to the Prima Divisione is decided according to a playoff between two clubs.

Youth teams of Lega Calcio clubs play in the Campionato Nazionale Primavera, as well as competing in their own cup competitions, such as the Coppa Italia Primavera and the Supercoppa Primavera.

Cup

The Lega Calcio organises a cup competition, the Coppa Italia, open to all Serie A and Serie B clubs and some clubs from the Lega Pro and the LND. The final is played in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico, with the winner eligible to participate in the UEFA Europa League.

Supercup

The Lega Calcio also organises the Supercoppa Italiana, between the champions of the Serie A and the winners of the Coppa Italia.

Footballs

The Nike Total 90 Omni is the official match football of the Lega Calcio and is used by all 42 teams from Serie A and Serie B. Nike's current deal started in the 2007-08 season and runs until the end of the 2011-12 season.

Future plans

On April 30, 2009, after divisions between Serie A and Serie B clubs regarding the future of the league, 19 of 20 top flight clubs (the only exception being U.S. Lecce) agreed about plans to split in order to form a new league, in a move reminiscent of England's Premier League formation in 1992.[1]

List of Lega Nazionale Professionisti presidents

1 : interim commissioner appointed directly by the Italian Football Federation

See also

References

External links


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