Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano
|Founded||August 23, 1977|
|Number of teams||12|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Liga Nacional B|
|Domestic cup(s)||Aerosur Cup|
|International cup(s)||Copa Libertadores
|Most championships||Bolívar (18 titles)|
|TV partners||Entel Tv
Unitel.tv (Highlights only)
Red Uno de Bolivia (Highlights only)
Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðe ˈfutβol pɾofesjoˈnal βoliˈβjano]; English: Bolivian Professional Football League) is the top-flight professional football (soccer) league in Bolivia. It started in 1977, though football had been played in Bolivia since the early 1900s, specifically in La Paz and Oruro.
An amateur league (which became semi-pro in 1950) started in La Paz in 1914, the LPFA (La Paz Football Association, which is currently called the Asociacion de Futbol de La Paz), the first association of soccer in Bolivia. The LPFA was considered for many years the top soccer tournament in the country.
Founded in 1925, the Federación Boliviana de Fútbol didn't organize a national championship until 1958. These championships included representatives of all regional associations, although the LPFA had also included representatives of Oruro and Cochabamba in its championships. Despite this cup being considered the top Bolivian football championship, the LPFA league was still considered the most competitive one.
The creation of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano ended the distinction. It also resulted in the creation of three separate entities: the FBF's role was restricted to the international representation of Bolivia in the sport, the newly created LPFB became the organizer of the sole 1st Division tournament, and the LPFA, together with the rest of the regional associations, became the organizer of the Second (and lower) division regionalized tournaments.It's the first and currently the only professional sports league in the country.
Since 1975, a total of 10 clubs have been crowned champions of the Bolivian football league system. Of the 35 clubs to have competed since the inception of the La Liga in 1977, nine have won the title: Bolivar (18 titles), The Strongest (10), Jorge Wilstermann (5), Blooming (5), Oriente Petrolero (4), San José (2), Universitario (2), Real Potosí (1), Aurora (1). The current champions are Universitario, who won the title in the 2014 season (Torneo Clausura).
The championship format has changed over the years. Beginning in 1977, the league ran with sixteen clubs divided into two series, but switched to fourteen clubs in two series playing two tournaments each year beginning in the mid 80s and economical problems with some teams led to another cut in the number of participants to twelve in 1991. Another change came in 2005 when teams decided to adapt to the International FIFA calendar, meaning the season would be played from August to June rather than from February to December, in order to avoid problems defining which teams would qualify for international tournaments. The league played a short tournament from February to June in 2005, and the official 2005-06 season started in August. This led to yet another problem — second division teams weren't keen on the idea of putting off relegation until June 2006. After negotiations, the league determined that relegation of the lowest standing club would take place after the completion of the Apertura tournament, making the Bolivian league an odd tournament where teams were relegated in the middle of the season. But this decision was overturned in November 2006 and the league switched back to a calendar-year season in 2007 starting with the Apertura tournament in March 2007.
Historically, teams from La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz have dominated the league. Until 2007 only San José won the league in 1995, but since then teams from the "big three" have struggled to win the league again and 3 teams from smaller cities have won it (Real Potosí, San José and Universitario).
Three teams share the record of never been relegated to "La Simón Bolivar" (2nd division): The Strongest, Oriente Petrolero and Bolívar (although they were relegated in 1969 before the LPFB era).
Current Competition System
For the 2008 season, and for the first time, three tournaments were played instead of the usual two. The Apertura tournament was played from March to July on a Round-Robin system; the Clausura tournament played from August to October where the teams were divided into two series of 6 teams each, Group A composed of all western teams (plus Universitario) and Group B composed of all eastern teams (plus Wilstermann and Aurora), the top two teams of each group advanced to the semifinals and the finals. The newly instated Play-off tournament consisted of home-away matches (and with away goals rule used for the first time).
An average points from the previous two seasons determines relegation, with the last placed team being directly relegated and replaced by the winner of the Liga Nacional B. With the 11th placed team playing a promotion play-off with the runner-up of the Liga Nacional B
Current teams (2013-14)
List of champions
- Torneo adecuacion was celebrate to adequate seasons to European style (August–May)
Titles by club (professional era: 1977-present)
||1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004 Apertura, 2005 Adecuación, 2006 Apertura, 2009 Apertura, 2011 Adecuación, 2013 Clausura|
||1977, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2003 Apertura, 2003 Clausura, 2004 Clausura, 2011 Apertura, 2012 Clausura, 2012 Apertura, 2013 Apertura|
||1980, 1981, 2000, 2006 Clausura, 2010 Apertura|
||1984, 1998, 1999, 2005 Apertura, 2009 Clausura|
||1979, 1990, 2001, 2010 Clausura|
||1995, 2007 Clausura|
||2008 Apertura, 2014 Clausura|
List of all-time topscorers
This is the list of the 15 all-time topscorer since the Bolivian league was established in 1977. Goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of February 2009.
|1.||Víctor Hugo Antelo||1983–2000||350|
|2.||Juan Carlos Sánchez||1979–1992||263|
|3.||Luis Fernando Salinas||1980–1993||201|
|5.||Raúl Horacio Baldessari||1977–1989||161|
|9.||Silvio Edmundo Rojas||1977–1992||140|
|10.||Luis William Ramallo||1982–1999||138|
|11.||Juan Berthy Suárez||1990–2000||135|
|13.||Carlos Fernando Borja||1977–1995||129|