Football in Romania

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Football is the most popular sport in Romania.[1] The Romanian Football Federation (Romanian: Federaţia Română de Fotbal or FRF), a member of UEFA, is the sport's national governing body.

League system[edit]

Professional league football began in Romania as Divizia A in 1909. The name of the top-flight league was changed to Liga I before the 2006-07 season. Currently, domestic play is organized in a four tier league system comprising Liga I, Liga II, Liga III, and various county leagues.

Liga I[edit]

The country's top-flight division is Liga I. The league contains 18 teams, with the champion gaining automatic entry into the group round of the UEFA Champions League and the runner-up placing into the third qualifying round. The 3rd goes directly in the Europa League, 4th in the 3rd qualify round, 5th and 6th the 1st round.Steaua Bucureşti is the most successful club in the history of Liga I, having won 23 league championships and being runner-up 12 times. Dinamo Bucureşti is the only other club with sustained success in Liga I, having won 18 titles. The four clubs at the bottom of the league table are relegated to Liga II.

Lower divisions[edit]

Liga II is divided into two parallel divisions due to economic and logistic reasons, each division containing 16 teams. The top two teams in each division are promoted to Liga I, while the bottom three teams from each division are relegated to Liga III. The second division is currently undergoing format changes, and is expected to consist of a single division of 20-22 teams in the near future.[2]

Liga III contains 108 teams split into six divisions of 18 teams each. The top club from each division is promoted to Liga II. Additionally, two separate three-team playoffs are held involving the second placed clubs from each division, with the playoff winners also being promoted. The bottom three teams from each division are relegated to the county leagues in addition to three of the 15th-placed teams.

Cup competitions[edit]

In addition to league, there are three major cup competitions: the Cupa României, open to all Romanian professional football clubs, the Supercupa României, which matches the champions of Liga I and the winners of the Cupa României, and the Cupa Ligii. In case the same team achieves the double by winning both the Liga I and Cupa României, the Supercupa is disputed between that club and the league's runner-up.

Qualification for European competitions[edit]

Competition Round Who Qualifies
UEFA Champions League Group Stages Liga I champion
Third Qualifying Round Liga I runner-up
UEFA Europa League Play-off Winner of the Cupa României, Liga I third-place club
Third Qualifying Round Liga I fourth-place club, Liga I fifth-place club
Second Qualifying Round Liga I sixth-place club (only if the Romanian cup finalists are placed fifth or higher in the championship)

Romania national football team[edit]

The Romania national football team played its first match in 1922 and is one of only four national teams to have taken part in the first three World Cups, the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium. Overall, they have played in seven World Cups, most recently in 1998. They have also competed in four European Championships, most recently in 2008. The team's most successful period was in the 1990s when, led by Gheorghe Hagi, they reached the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup. They also reached the last 16 of the 1998 World Cup, and the quarter-finals of Euro 2000.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Romania". The Europa World Year Book 2. Routledge. 2007. .
  2. ^ "Fotbalul românesc, după modelul spaniol!". liga2.ro (in Romanian). 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2009-05-11.