East German football league system

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East German football league system
Founded
1949
Disbanded
1991
Nation
Flag of East Germany East Germany
The East German Bezirke
Bezirke
Schwerin coat-of-arms.jpg Schwerin
Rostock Wappen.svg Rostock
DEU Neubrandenburg COA.svg Neubrandenburg
Wappen Magdeburg.svg Magdeburg
Coat of arms of Potsdam.svg Potsdam
Flag of East Berlin (1956-1990).svg Berlin
Coat of arms of Halle (Saale).svg Halle
Wappen Frankfurt an der Oder.jpg Frankfurt (Oder)
Wappen Cottbus.png Cottbus
Wappen Gera.svg Gera
Wappen Erfurt.svg Erfurt
Wappen Suhl.svg Suhl
Dresden Stadtwappen.svg Dresden
Coat of arms of Leipzig.svg Leipzig
Coat of arms of Chemnitz.svg Karl-Marx-Stadt
Last Champion 1990-91
Hansa Rostock

The football league system of the German Democratic Republic (shortened: GDR, German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) existed from the creation of the DDR-Oberliga in 1949 until shortly after German reunification in 1990.

The German Democratic Republic football league system[edit]

From 1949 until 1991 East Germany had its own football league system. It had its own nationwide league called Oberliga which existed throughout the whole GDR history. Since 1954 the DDR-Oberliga consisted of 14 teams; the two worst-placed teams were relegated to the Liga, which was introduced in 1950. Following the dissolution of the five federal states the five old Landesliga divisions were replaced by 15 new Bezirksliga divisions as the third level of the league system. By 1955 however, there was another change in the league system as the 2nd DDR-Liga was created as a level between the DDR-Liga and the Bezirksligen.

In 1962, the DDR-Liga was once more divided into two divisions and a year later the 2nd DDR-Liga was abandoned. In 1971 the DDR-Liga was divided into five Divisions, and for that reason was now similar to the Landesliga of the 1940s. The five division champions played a qualification round to determine which clubs would promote to the Oberliga. From 1984 to 1991, the Liga consisted of two divisions again, whose champions were directly promoted to the Oberliga. Below the two DDR-Liga divisions were the fifteen Bezirksligen whose champions had to play a promotional round to determine the six clubs that would move up to the 2nd Division.

Below the Bezirksliga there were (descending) Bezirksklasse, Kreisliga and, at the lowest level, several Kreisklasse divisions, as they actually are today.

The league system in the 1989-90 season[edit]

The 1989-90 season was the last "true" season of DDR football. The league system presented here had been in use since 1984, when the DDR-Liga was reduced from five to two divisions.

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

I

Oberliga
14 clubs

II

Liga Staffel A
18 clubs

Liga Staffel B
18 clubs

III

Bezirksliga Schwerin
13 clubs

Bezirksliga Rostock
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Neubrandenburg
15 clubs

Bezirksliga Magdeburg
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Potsdam
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Berlin
17 clubs

Bezirksliga Frankfurt/Oder
15 clubs

Bezirksliga Cottbus
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Halle
13 clubs

Bezirksliga Gera
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Erfurt
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Dresden
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Leipzig
15 clubs

Bezirksliga Karl-Marx-Stadt
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Suhl
15 clubs

Source:"East German football leagues". Das deutsche Fussball Archiv. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 

  • All leagues at the same level run parallel.
  • Leagues below the Bezirksliga not shown.
  • The boundary between the two 2nd Divisions was geographically not fixed, teams promoted from the Bezirksligen in the central part of East Germany could end up in either league. The allocation of the Bezirksligen to the 2nd Division shown here is therefore a guide only.
  • Bezirksliga Karl-Marx-Stadt changed its name to Bezirksliga Chemnitz on 21 June 1990.
  • The 1989-90 season was the last before the reunification of Germany in October 1990. One more season was played after that before the two league systems were integrated. The 1990-91 season however already saw changes with the introduction of Verbands- and Landesligen in all areas except Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and East Berlin as the third tier between 2nd Division and Bezirksligen. Also, the DDR-Oberliga was renamed NOFV-Oberliga.

The league system in the 1990-91 season[edit]

The 1990-91 league system as such existed for this one season only, it was the transition stage between the East German and the West German football league system to form the united German football league system.

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

I

NOFV-Oberliga
14 clubs

II

NOFV-Liga-Group A
16 clubs

NOFV-Liga-Group B
16 clubs

III

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: No league at this level

Verbandsliga Brandenburg
13 clubs

Berlin: No league at this level

Verbandsliga Sachsen-Anhalt
14 clubs

Landesliga Thüringen
14 clubs

Landesliga Sachsen
12 clubs

IV

Bezirksliga Schwerin
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Rostock
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Neubrandenburg
15 clubs

Bezirksliga Potsdam
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Frankfurt/Oder
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Cottbus
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Berlin
17 clubs

Bezirksliga Magdeburg
13 clubs

Bezirksliga Halle
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Erfurt
14 clubs

Bezirksliga Suhl
12 clubs

Bezirksliga Gera
16 clubs

Bezirksliga Leipzig
15 clubs

Bezirksliga Chemnitz
13 clubs

Bezirksliga Dresden
16 clubs

Source:"East German football leagues". Das deutsche Fussball Archiv. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 

  • All leagues on the same level run parallel.
  • Leagues below the Bezirksligen not shown.

League Timeline 1949 to 1991[edit]


Source:"East German football leagues". Das deutsche Fussball Archiv. Retrieved 2008-03-08. 

Club names and affiliations[edit]

The clubs in the East German league system were very similar to clubs in other eastern European communist countries and therefore very different from the rest of Europe. "Free", uncontrolled formation of sports or football clubs was not possible, as the DFV controlled everything. Players on elite level did not necessarily have a free choice of club either and if they wanted to play in the national team they usually had to join one of the big clubs, a fact after all quite similar to the West.[1]

Football clubs in the former GDR could be classified in four simple categories, identifiable by their names, these being:

Dynamo[edit]

  • The clubs of the interior ministry with strong connection to the secret police.[2] Erich Mielke, head of the Stasi was the patron of all Dynamo clubs and especially of Dynamo Berlin, resulting in very favorable results for those clubs. Especially in the last fifteen years of the GDR, the Dynamo clubs dominated the league completely.

Vorwärts[edit]

Football Clubs[edit]

BSG[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Book review: , Erich Mielke, die Stasi und das runde Leder (in German), Hanns Leske, Verlag die Werkstatt, ISBN 3-89533-448-0
  2. ^ "Fußball in der DDR - planungsresistent und unregierbar? (in German)". Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Hans Joachim Teichler. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 
  3. ^ "Fußball in der DDR - Fußballbegeisterung und politische Interventionen (in German)". Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, Hans Joachim Teichler. 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-16. 

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]