Salvadoran Primera División
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (May 2013)|
|Number of teams||10|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Segunda División|
|Domestic cup(s)||Copa Presidente|
|International cup(s)||Champions League
|Current champions||Isidro Metapán
|Most championships||FAS (17 titles)|
The Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (Professional Football League), more commonly known as La Liga Mayor or La Primera, is the top professional football league in El Salvador. It was established in 1969 and as of 2011 has 10 clubs. Initially the league was run as a yearlong tournament, but as of 1998, the league system has changed, and now, much like in many other football leagues in the Americas, the league holds two tournaments each year. Traditionally the Apertura season runs from August to December, while the Clausura season runs from February to July.
- 1 Competition format
- 2 History
- 3 Current Teams
- 4 Important matches
- 5 Champions
- 6 External links
La Liga Mayor follows the usual double round-robin format. During the course of a given season (Apertura or Clausura), each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 18 games. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, with the top four clubs at the end of the season progressing through to the finals. If points are equal between two or more clubs, goal difference usually determines their placement. Although when it comes to qualifying for the finals, if the team in fourth and fifth spot are equal on points, then a Repechaje or Playoff is needed to determine which team gains entry into finals.
A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División. In May each year, at the conclusion of both the apertura and clausura seasons, the team with the least amount of points on aggregate over both seasons, is automatically relegated to the Segunda División, while the team with the second least amount of points must participate in a Repechaje or Playoff with the runner-up of the Segunda División. The winner of this home and away playoff will be guaranteed a spot in the Primera División for the following season. This means that every year, a maximum of two teams could be relegated from the Primera División depending on the results of the Repechaje between the second last placed team in the Primera División and the runner-up of the Segunda División.
Qualification to CONCACAF Champions League
As of 2009, La Liga Mayor has two guaranteed spots in the CONCACAF Champions League. One spot in Preliminary Round and another in the Group Stage. The winner of each apertura and clausura season gains automatic entry into this tournament. To determine which team enters the tournament at what stage, aggregate points over both seasons is used, with the team that has the most points overall progressing through to the Group Stage, and the other team going to the Preliminary Round. If the same team is to win both the apertura and clausura seasons, then that team automatically gains entry into the Group Stage, and again, aggregate points over both seasons is used to determine the second team that will qualify to the Preliminary Round.
In 1921, the Salvadoran Sports Commission (Comisión Nacional de Educación Física) held its very first National Sports Week. Although initially this event did not include any participation from football clubs, it would go on to be the basis of what would grow to be the Liga Mayor of today. In 1924, due to high demand, the commission included a football tournament in the annual Sports Week. Due to the enormous success of this event, it was decided that that as of 1926, the Sports Week tournament would in turn become the country's official National Football Championship. The championship was to be contended by three teams who represent the three different zones of the country playing in a double round robin format. The first three teams to compete in the tournament were, Nequepio (Central Zone), Chinameca Sporting Club (Eastern Zone) and Olímpic (Western Zone). This format was used until 1930.
Controversy occurred after the 1929–30 championship when finalists Excélsior F.C. (who represented the western zone) complained that the second leg of the final against Hércules should not be registered, as they felt that the referee in that game had helped Hércules win the title. The Sports Commission did not agree and the result was not changed. As a result Excélsior F.C. withdrew from the tournament and Hércules was crowned champion. This led to there being talk of corruption from event organisers against teams from the western part of the country, and as a result teams from that zone refused to take part in any of the following Championships. Because of this there was no national playoff held again until 1937.
Return of the National Championship
The national championship returned to its original format in 1937, but was short lived, as once again, teams complained of there still being corruption within the tournament. Again as a result, there was no national championship during 1939 and 1941. Although no national championship was played, there was still regional championships which over time are now considered to be legitimate national championships.
During 1942 and 1943, the national championship was reinstated, but again, much like the first two times, there were problems and the championship was canceled. Again much like in 1939 and 1941, there were only regional championships held during 1944 and 1945, and again, these title are now considered national championships.
Introduction of a league format
In 1947 the Salvadoran Football Federation tried to organize a National Championship in league format, but this proved to be unsuccessful and the tournament was suspended after only a few rounds. It proved to be more successful the following season, but was postponed once again in 1949. Although this new format did not begin very well, because of a lack of organisation, it did prove to work very well during the 1950 championship, and throughout the 1950s.
The league begins to form
The 1950s saw interest in the league begin to grow nationwide and although the league did have some problems, with teams dropping out at the end of any given season, it would not affect the league as a whole, as there were various new teams that were anxious to take part in the league and take the place of those that had left. In 1955, league organisers announced that the championship would now be played out in a double round robin format, with a maximum of 10 teams taking part in the league. This year also saw the introduction of promotion and relegation into the league.
Switch to Apertura/Clausura format
In 1998, league officials decided to change the league format from a yearlong tournament to an Apertura/Clausura schedule, with the hope that it would garner more interest in the league and give a chance for its player to rest between seasons.
|Apertura 2012/Clausura 2013|
|Name||City||Stadium||First season in
|First season after
most recent promotion
|Águila||San Miguel||Juan Francisco Barraza||1950/51||1959|
|Alianza||San Salvador||Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González||1959||1959|
|Atlético Marte||San Salvador||Cuscatlán||1950||2009|
|FAS||Santa Ana||Oscar Quiteño||1948/49||1948/49|
|Isidro Metapán||Metapán||Jorge Calero Suárez||2001 (A)||2001 (A)|
|Juventud Independiente||San Juan Opico||Complejo Municipal||2008 (A)||2011 (A)|
|Dragón||San Miguel||Juan Francisco Barraza||2013||2013|
|Santa Tecla||Santa Tecla||Estadio Las Delicias||2012 (A)||2012 (A)|
|UES||San Salvador||Estadio Universitario UES||1957/58||2010 (A)|
Stadium and locations
|Águila||San Miguel||Juan Francisco Barraza||10,000|
|Alianza||San Salvador||Estadio Jorge "Mágico" González||32,000|
|Atlético Marte||San Salvador||Estadio Cuscatlán||45,000|
|Dragón||San Miguel||Barraza City||10,000|
|FAS||Santa Ana||Estadio Óscar Quiteño||15,000|
|Isidro Metapán||Metapán||Estadio Jorge Calero Suárez||8,000|
|Juventud Independiente||San Juan Opico||Complejo Municipal||5,000|
|Luís Ángel Firpo||Usulután||Estadio Sergio Torres||5,000|
|Santa Tecla||Santa Tecla||Estadio Las Delicias||3,000|
|UES||San Salvador||Estadio Universitario UES||10,000|
- FAS v Águila "Clásico Nacional"
- FAS v Isidro Metapán "Derbi Santaneco"
- Águila v Alianza "Clásico Centro Oriente"
- Alianza v Firpo "Clásico Joven"
- FAS v Alianza "Clásico del Odio"
- Águila v Firpo "Clásico de Oriente"
- Alianza v Atlético Marte "Derbi Capitalino"
- FAS v Firpo "Clasico de los 90s"
Teams in bold are currently participating in La Liga Mayor.
- (#) – Current Primera Division Champion
- (†) – Defunct national team
||1951–1952, 1953–1954, 1957–1958, 1961–1962, 1962, 1977–1978, 1978–1979, 1981, 1984, 1994–1995, 1995–1996, Clausura 2002, Apertura 2002, Apertura 2003, Apertura 2004, Clausura 2005, Apertura 2009|
||1959, 1960–1961, 1963–1964, 1964, 1967–1968, 1972, 1975–1976, 1976–1977, 1983, 1987–1988, Apertura 1999, Apertura 2000, Clausura 2001, Clausura 2006, Clausura 2012|
||1988–1989, 1990–1991, 1991–1992, 1992–1993, 1997–1998, Clausura 1999, Clausura 2000, Apertura 2007, Clausura 2008, Clausura 2013|
||1965-66, 1966–67, 1986–87, 1989–90, 1993–1994, 1996–1997, Apertura 1998, Apertura 2001, Clausura 2004, Clausura 2011|
|Isidro Metapán #||
||Clausura 2007, Apertura 2008, Clausura 2009, Clausura 2010, Apertura 2010, Apertura 2011, Apertura 2012, Apertura 2013|
||1955, 1955–1956, 1956–57, 1968–1969, 1970, 1980–1981, 1982, 1985|
||1927, 1928, 1929–1930, 1930–1931, 1931–1932, 1932–1933, 1933–1934|
||1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945|
|C.D. 33 †||
||1937, 1938, 1939|
||1948–1949, Apertura 2006|
|San Salvador †||
- La Prensa Grafica coverage (Spanish)
- El Grafico League coverage (Spanish)
- Salvadoran clubs kit info
- Largest wins in Salvadoran football History article (Spanish)
- El Salvador - List of Champions, RSSSF.com