Belarusian Premier League

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Belarusian Premier League
Country  Belarus
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1992
Number of teams 12
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Belarusian First League
Domestic cup(s) Belarusian Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions BATE Borisov
(2014)
Most championships BATE Borisov (11 titles)
TV partners Belarus 5
2015 Belarusian Premier League

The Belarusian Premier League or the Vysheyshaya Liga (Belarusian: Вышэйшая ліга, top league) is the top division of professional football in Belarus, and is organized by the Belarusian Football Federation. The number of teams in the competition has varied over the years from as high as 17 to the current 14 which was first put in place in 2015. Each team plays every other team three times during the course of the season. At the end of the season one team is relegated to the Belarusian First League, and one is promoted from the First League to replace it.

BATE Borisov are the current champions and most successful team, with 11 titles.

History[edit]

The Belarusian Premier League was organized in 1992. The first participants were: Dinamo Minsk, the only Belarusian side in the former Soviet Top League, five teams from the lower tiers of the Soviet league system, and ten teams who were previous competitors in the Belarusian SSR First League.

Immediately after the organization of the league, it was decided to change its season from a Soviet-style summer season to a European-style winter season. To make that possible, the first season was shortened, consisting of a single round-robin tournament between 16 teams, finishing in mid-summer. Due to the shortened season, no team was relegated from the Premier League and only one was promoted from the First League. The 1992–93 season had 17 teams, but was reduced back to 16 teams for the following season. In 1995, the winter season experiment was proven unsuccessful due to poor weather and field conditions in Belarus in the late autumn and early spring. The season was changed back to summer, and the 1995 championship was again held as a single round-robin tournament. Every season since 1996 has been played in the summer.

Throughout the 2000s, the number of competing teams has changed several times. In 2001, the league was reduced to 14 teams, but expanded back to 16 in 2003. In 2005, after two teams withdrew before the start of the season, the league was once again reduced to 14 clubs, but expanded again to 16 teams in 2008. That same year, the decision was made to gradually reduce the number of teams even more, starting with 14 teams in 2009 and 12 in 2010 onwards. 2012 season was played with only 11 teams due to last minute exclusion of Partizan Minsk.

In its earliest years, the league was dominated by Dinamo Minsk, who won the league five times in a row between 1992 and 1995. During the next ten seasons, seven different teams finished as champions: Slavia Mozyr (1996 as MPKC Mozyr, 2000), Dinamo Minsk (1997, 2004), Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev (1998), BATE Borisov (1999, 2002), Belshina Bobruisk (2001), Gomel (2003), Shakhtyor Soligorsk (2005). Since 2006, BATE Borisov has dominated the league, winning eight championships in a row (2006–2013), and becoming the first Belarusian team to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (2008, 2011 and 2012) and the UEFA Europa League (2009 and 2010).

Premier League in 2015[edit]

Team Location Venue Capacity Position in 2014
BATE Borisov Borisov Arena 12,896 1st
Belshina Bobruisk Spartak Stadium 3,700 10th
Dinamo Brest Brest OSK Brestskiy 10,060 11th
Dinamo Minsk Minsk Traktor Stadium 16,500 2nd
Gomel Gomel Central Stadium 14,307 6th
Granit Mikashevichi Polesye Stadium 3,100 First League, 1st
Minsk Minsk Torpedo Stadium 4,820 7th
Naftan Novopolotsk Atlant Stadium 4,500 5th
Neman Grodno Neman Stadium 8,500 8th
Shakhtyor Soligorsk Stroitel Stadium 4,200 3rd
Slavia Mozyr Yunost Stadium 5,300 First League, 2nd
Slutsk Slutsk City Stadium 1,896 9th
Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino Torpedo Stadium 3,020 4th
Vitebsk Vitebsk Vitebsky CSK 8,100 First League, 3rd
Locations of teams in the 2015 Belarusian Premier League

Soviet era champions[edit]

Champions and top scorers[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top scorer
1992 Dinamo Minsk Dnepr Mogilev Dinamo Brest Belarus Andrey Skorobogatko (Dnepr Mogilev) (11)
1992–93 Dinamo Minsk KIM Vitebsk Belarus Minsk Belarus Sergey Baranovsky (Dinamo Minsk) (19)
1993–94 Dinamo Minsk Dinamo-93 Minsk KIM Vitebsk Belarus Pyotr Kachuro (Dinamo-93 Minsk / Dinamo Minsk) (21)
1994–95 Dinamo Minsk Dvina Vitebsk Dinamo-93 Minsk Belarus Pavel Shavrov (Dinamo-93 Minsk) (19)
1995 Dinamo Minsk MPKC Mozyr Dinamo-93 Minsk Belarus Sergey Yaromko (MPKC Mozyr) (16)
1996 MPKC Mozyr Dinamo Minsk Belshina Bobruisk Belarus Andrey Khlebosolov (Belshina Bobruisk) (34)
1997 Dinamo Minsk Belshina Bobruisk Lokomotiv-96 Vitebsk Belarus Andrey Khlebosolov (Belshina Bobruisk) (19)
1998 Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev BATE Borisov Belshina Bobruisk Belarus Sergey Yaromko (Torpedo Minsk) (19)
1999 BATE Borisov Slavia Mozyr Gomel Belarus Valery Strypeykis (Slavia Mozyr) (21)
2000 Slavia Mozyr BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Belarus Raman Vasilyuk (Slavia Mozyr) (31)
2001 Belshina Bobruisk Dinamo Minsk BATE Borisov Russia Sergei Davydov (Neman-Belcard Grodno) (25)
2002 BATE Borisov Neman Grodno Shakhtyor Soligorsk Belarus Valery Strypeykis (Belshina Bobruisk) (18)
2003 Gomel BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Belarus Gennadi Bliznyuk (Gomel) (18)
Belarus Sergei Kornilenko (Dinamo Minsk) (18)
2004 Dinamo Minsk BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Belarus Valery Strypeykis (Naftan Novopolotsk) (18)
2005 Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk MTZ-RIPO Minsk Belarus Valery Strypeykis (Naftan Novopolotsk) (16)
2006 BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk Belarus Alyaksandr Klimenka (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (17)
2007 BATE Borisov Gomel Shakhtyor Soligorsk Belarus Raman Vasilyuk (Gomel) (24)
2008 BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk MTZ-RIPO Minsk Belarus Gennadi Bliznyuk (BATE Borisov) (16)
Belarus Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov) (16)
2009 BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Dnepr Mogilev Brazil Maycon (Gomel) (15)
2010 BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Minsk Brazil Renan Bressan (BATE Borisov) (15)
2011 BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Gomel Brazil Renan Bressan (BATE Borisov) (13)
2012 BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk Belarus Dzmitry Asipenka (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (14)
2013 BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk Belarus Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov) (14)
2014 BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk Belarus Mikalay Yanush (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (15)
Teams Champion Runner-up Third place
BATE Borisov 11 (1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) 4 (1998, 2000, 2003, 2004) 1 (2001)
Dinamo Minsk 7 (1992, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995, 1997, 2004) 7 (1996, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014) 4 (2000, 2003, 2012, 2013)
Slavia Mozyr 2 (1996, 2000) 2 (1995, 1999)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1 (2005) 4 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) 5 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2014)
Gomel 1 (2003) 1 (2007) 2 (1999, 2011)
Belshina Bobruisk 1 (2001) 1 (1997) 2 (1996, 1998)
Dnepr Mogilev 1 (1998) 1 (1992) 1 (2009)
Vitebsk 2 (1992–93, 1994–95) 2 (1993–94, 1997)
Dinamo-93 Minsk 1 (1993–94) 3 (1992–93, 1994–95, 1995)
Neman Grodno 1 (2002)
Partizan Minsk 2 (2005, 2008)
Dinamo Brest 1 (1992)
Minsk 1 (2010)

All-time table[edit]

As of end of 2014 season
Rank Club1 Seasons Debut Most
recent
season
Pld2 W D L Goals Points3 Best result
1 Dinamo Minsk 24 1992 677 404 145 128 1280–591 1357 1st (1992, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995, 1997, 2004)
2 BATE Borisov 17 1998 496 324 104 68 979–386 1076 1st (1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
3 Shakhtyor Soligorsk 24 1992 677 305 169 203 946–721 1074 1st (2005)
4 Neman Grodno 24 1992 678 247 177 254 767–823 918 2nd (2002)
5 Dnepr Mogilev 23 1992 2014 647 252 161 234 869–788 917 1st (1998)
6 Dinamo Brest 24 1992 677 227 165 285 798–912 846 3rd (1992)
7 Gomel 20 1992 537 224 118 195 705–669 790 1st (2003)
8 Vitebsk 19 1992 527 197 135 195 613–645 726 2nd (1992–93, 1994–95)
9 Belshina Bobruisk 18 1993–94 522 202 111 209 714–706 717 1st (2001)
10 Naftan Novopolotsk 18 1996 529 171 111 247 639–807 619 4th (2009)
11 Torpedo-SKA Minsk 14 1992 2004 383 151 106 126 457–416 559 4th (2002, 2003)
12 Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino 15 1992 427 147 108 172 469–516 549 4th (2004, 2005, 2007, 2014)
13 Slavia-Mozyr 13 1995 364 150 74 140 548–514 524 1st (1996, 2000)
14 Dinamo-93 Minsk 7 1992–93 1998 181 99 43 39 296–157 340 2nd (1993–94)
15 Molodechno-2000 12 1992 2003 323 80 80 163 339–490 320 4th (1994–95)
16 Partizan Minsk 7 2004 2010 198 80 42 76 288–281 282 3rd (2005, 2008)
17 Minsk 7 2007 212 78 47 87 260–254 281 3rd (2010)
18 Torpedo-Kadino Mogilev 10 1992 2000 271 64 76 131 266–444 268 7th (1992)
19 Vedrich-97 Rechytsa 8 1992 2001 208 46 44 118 167–327 182 8th (1992)
20 Darida Minsk Raion 6 2003 2008 168 44 38 86 165–252 170 8th (2006)
21 Bobruisk 5 1992 1995 122 44 34 44 119–145 166 4th (1992)
22 Lida 7 1992 2000 182 38 46 98 144–289 160 8th (1994–95)
23 Ataka Minsk 3 1995 1997 75 29 16 30 86–93 103 4th (1995)
24 Lokomotiv Minsk 4 2003 2008 112 23 25 64 100–187 94 11th (2005)
25 Lokomotiv Vitebsk 4 1992 1994–95 107 22 27 58 82–181 93 10th (1993–94)
26 Zvezda-BGU Minsk 4 2002 2005 112 21 23 68 106–228 86 12th (2002, 2003)
27 Smorgon 3 2007 2009 82 18 26 38 58–114 80 8th (2008)
28 Kommunalnik Slonim 3 1997 2000 89 15 17 57 66–191 62 11th (1997)
29 Granit Mikashevichi 2 2008 56 14 19 23 62–73 61 10th (2008)
30 Stroitel Starye Dorogi 3 1992 1993–94 77 14 18 45 48–117 60 14th (1992, 1992–93)
31 Slutsk 1 2014 32 11 7 14 26–34 40 9th (2014)
32 Transmash Mogilev 1 1997 1997 30 8 4 18 30–52 28 14th (1997)
33 Savit Mogilev 1 2008 2008 30 5 6 19 28–61 21 15th (2008)
34 Svisloch-Krovlya Osipovichi 1 1999 1999 30 4 4 22 24–74 16 15th (1999)
  1. For clubs that have been renamed, their name at the time of their most recent season in the Premier League is given. The current members are listed in bold.
  2. Includes 2002 championship play-off, 2004 relegation play-off and 14 games of Dinamo-93 in 1998 season
  3. For the purposes of this table, each win is worth 3 points. The three-points system was adopted in fall 1995 season.

Player of the year[edit]

Belarusian Premier League Player of the year is an annual award given by a sports newspaper Pressball.

Season Player Club
1992 Belarus Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1992–93 Belarus Sergey Gotsmanov Dinamo Minsk
1993–94 Belarus Yury Shukanov Dinamo Minsk
1994–95 Belarus Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1995 Belarus Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1996 Belarus Alyaksandr Kulchy MPKC Mozyr
1997 Belarus Andrei Lavrik Dinamo Minsk
1998 Belarus Aleh Konanaw Torpedo Minsk
1999 Russia Dmitri Karsakov Slavia Mozyr
2000 Belarus Aleksandr Lisovsky BATE Borisov
2001 Belarus Vitali Kutuzov BATE Borisov
2002 Belarus Dzmitry Likhtarovich BATE Borisov
2003 Belarus Timofei Kalachev Shakhtyor Soligorsk
2004 Belarus Andrey Razin Dinamo Minsk
2005 Belarus Vital Valadzyankow Dinamo Minsk
2006 Belarus Oleg Strakhanovich MTZ-RIPO Minsk
2007 Belarus Raman Vasilyuk Gomel
2008 Belarus Vitali Rodionov BATE Borisov
2009 Belarus Sergey Krivets BATE Borisov
2010 Brazil Renan Bressan BATE Borisov
2011 Brazil Renan Bressan BATE Borisov
2012 Belarus Stanislaw Drahun Dinamo Minsk
2013 Belarus Alexander Hleb BATE Borisov

Reserves League[edit]

An annual league competition is organized for the reserve teams of Premier League clubs since 2001. This tournament was won by the reserves of Dinamo Minsk (7 titles), Gomel (2 titles), Shakhtyor Soligorsk (2 titles), BATE Borisov (1 title), Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino (1 title) and Dnepr Mogilev (1 title).

External links[edit]