Latvian Higher League
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2012)|
|Number of teams||10|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Latvijas 1. līga|
|Domestic cup(s)||Latvian Cup
|International cup(s)||Champions League
|Current champions||FK Ventspils
|Most championships||Skonto (15)|
|2014 Latvian Higher League|
The SMScredit.lv Latvian Higher League (Latvian: SMScredit.lv Virslīga) is the top tier of association football in Latvia and is organised by the Latvian Football Federation. The new season kicks off in mid-March of every year, and runs until early November. There are no games in winter because of the harsh climate. From 2005 until 2011, the league was sponsored by the telecommunications operator LMT, naming the league LMT Virslīga. In 2012 the league was reorganised in partnership with the NGO "Latvijas Futbola virslīga", adopting the NGO's name. Before the current season in March 2013, the league signed a sponsorship deal with the microfinancing company SMScredit.lv and acquired its current name SMScredit.lv Virslīga.
- 1 League format
- 2 Clubs (2014)
- 3 Past Virslīga winners
- 4 Earlier Latvian league winners
- 5 Performance in Riga football league
- 6 Performance in Latvia before Virsliga
- 7 Total titles won
- 8 References
- 9 External links
From the first season back in 1991 to 2007, there were eight clubs in the Virslīga. During the course of the season each club played all the other clubs four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents, completing a total of 28 games.
In 2009 the league was played in four rounds with nine clubs. Each clubs played the others four times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents. With the withdrawal of one club, FK Vindava, a total of 32 games were played. For the 2010 season, each club played the other nine clubs three times, for a total of 27 games.
At the end of the season, the lowest placed team are automatically relegated into Traffic 1. liga, and the winner of the Traffic 1. liga automatically takes their place. The second lowest placed team in Virslīga and the second team of 1. liga play two matches for a place in the Virslīga the following season. The winner of Virslīga, the champion of Latvia, plays in the UEFA Champions League qualifying round. The second and third placed clubs play in the UEFA Europa League qualifying games.
|BFC Daugavpils||Daugavpils||Celtnieks Stadium||3,980|
|FC Daugava||Daugavpils||Daugava Stadium||4,100|
|FK Daugava Rīga||Riga||Daugava Stadium||5,000|
|FK Jelgava||Jelgava||Zemgales Olimpiskais Sporta Centrs||2,200|
|FC Jūrmala||Jūrmala||Slokas Stadium||5,000|
|FK Liepāja||Liepāja||Daugava Stadium||6,000|
|FS Metta/LU||Riga||Stadions Arkādija||500|
|Skonto FC||Riga||Skonto Stadium||10,000|
|FK Spartaks Jūrmala||Jūrmala||Slokas Stadium||5,000|
|FK Ventspils||Ventspils||Olimpiskais Stadium||3,200|
Past Virslīga winners
Earlier Latvian league winners
Performance in Riga football league
Britannia Fc 3
Union Riga 2
SV Kaiserwald 1
Champions of Latvia before Virslīga
Performance in Latvia before Virsliga
Rigas Fk 8
Olimpija Liepaja 7
FK ASK 3
Latvian SSR champions
Total titles won
The following 24 clubs have won the top league in Latvian football.
|Skonto Rīga||15||3||1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2010|
|ASK Rīga||11||5||1932, 1942, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965|
|Sarkanais Metalurgs Liepāja||9||4||1946, 1947, 1949, 1951, 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958|
|RFK Rīga||8||6||1924, 1925, 1926, 1930, 1931, 1934, 1935, 1940|
|Olimpija Liepāja||7||8||1927, 1928, 1929, 1933, 1936, 1938, 1939|
|VEF Rīga||6||7||1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1983|
|Ventspils||5||5||2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2013|
|Elektrons Rīga||4||4||1979, 1981, 1982, 1985|
|Torpedo Rīga||3||2||1984, 1986, 1987|
|Liepājas Metalurgs||2||8||2005, 2009|
|RAF Jelgava||2||4||1988, 1989|
|Enerģija Rīga||2||2||1976, 1977|
|Ķīmiķis Daugavpils||2||2||1978, 1980|
|Kaiserwald Rīga||2||0||1922, 1923|
|ESR Rīga||2||0||1966, 1967|
|Darba Rezerves Rīga||1||0||1955|
- bold clubs play in top flight
- italic clubs dissolved or merged
|FK Liepājas Metalurgs||2|
- "About Virslīga". Biedrība Latvijas Futbola Virslīga. Futbolavirsliga.lv. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- "SMScredit.lv – Latvian football Higher league general sponsor!". Biedrība Latvijas Futbola Virslīga. Futbolavirsliga.lv. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Mike Dryomin (14 March 2008). "Latvia 2007". RSSSF. Retrieved 23 July 2012.
- Hartmanis, Martins (2007-12-01). "LMT Virslīga new season calendar published". Latvian Football Federation. Retrieved 2008-02-20.
- "Skonto Riga 0 – 1 Portadown: Portadown make progress". Europa League. ESPNSoccernet. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- Jared Grellet (10 November 2011). "Ventspils and Flora claim respective titles". The Baltic Times. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- "Latvia – Riga Football League 1910–1916". RSSSF. 20 May 2002. Retrieved 1 March 2012.
- One Nil Up – Digital Magazine focusing on football in the Baltic States
- Association Virsliga at futbolavirsliga.tv (Latvian)
- Virslīga on the Latvian Football Federation page
- Current Virsliga table at eurorivals
- Virsliga fixtures, including kick off times, at worldfootball.net
- Latvia – List of Champions, RSSSF.com