Olimpija Liepāja

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For early 1990s Olimpija, see FHK Liepājas Metalurgs.

Olimpija Liepāja was Latvian football club that in the 1920-1930s was one of the strongest in Latvia and with which played many Latvia national football team footballers. It was from the city of Liepāja.

History[edit]

Olimpija was founded in 1909 as a bicycle sport club. Only later it became primarily a football club. Until 1924 the strongest football club in Liepāja was Liepājas LNMS but after that started the era of Olimpija domination.

In 1924 Olimpija won the second place among province (non-Riga) Latvian clubs and played its first international friendlies. In 1925 Olimpija won the competition among province clubs and got to play against Rīgas FK for the Latvian football title. Olimpija lost 3:4 in overtime but still was the first club from the province to come up with a serious challenge against the Riga clubs.

In 1926 Olimpija was again the second club in Latvia and its players became a serious force in the Latvia national team (in a friendly against Lithuania) played six footballers from Olimpija.

In 1927 was formed a new league in Latvia - Virslīga - in which could play clubs from both Riga and other cities. Olimpija became the first Virslīga champions. In 1928 and 1929 the club won 2 more titles. From 1928 to 1930 Olimpija won the Riga Football Cup three years in a row and thus became its permanent owner.

Early 1930s came less successful - in 1930 and 1931 Olimpija finished second in Virslīga behind Rīgas FK both times, in 1932 - only 4th. But in 1933 the club won another Latvian league title. The next title came in 1936. Then - in 1938 and 1939.[1] In 1940 Olimpija was disbanded by the Soviets, but in 1941 after the Nazi occupation the club was rebuilt. In 1944 the club became defunct the second and final time.

Many former Olimpija players later played for Daugava Liepāja which was founded in 1945 (at least 9 former Olimpija players were in the Daugava squad that won the 1946 Latvian league title). Those included Voldemārs Sudmalis, Kārlis Tīls and Ernests Ziņģis. So theoretically Daugava (and also - Liepājas Metalurgs) can be considered successors of Olimpija.

Honours[edit]

  • Latvia top league:
    • Winners: 7 (1927–1929,1933, 1936, 1938–1939)

Notable players[edit]

References[edit]