Bolivian Primera División

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División de Fútbol Profesional
Founded1950; 68 years ago (1950)
CountryBolivia
ConfederationCONMEBOL
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toCopa Simón Bolívar
International cup(s)Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Current championsJorge Wilstermann (14th title)
(2018 Apertura)
Most championshipsBolívar (28 titles)
TV partnersEntel Tv
Canal 7
Cotel Tv
Unitel.tv (Highlights only)
Red PAT (Highlights only)
WebsiteFBF
2018 season

The División de Fútbol Profesional, known as Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðe ˈfutβol pɾofesjoˈnal βoliˈβjano]; English: Bolivian Professional Football League) until 2017, is the top-flight professional football league in Bolivia.

Since 1950, a total of 16 clubs have been crowned champions of the Bolivian football league system. Bolivar is the most winning club with 28 titles to date. The current champions are Jorge Wilstermann, which won the title in the 2018 Torneo Apertura.

History[edit]

The organisation of football in Bolivia started in 1914 with the creation of regional associations and their respective competitions. The "La Paz Football Association" (Asociación de Fútbol de La Paz – AFLP) was the first organised body with 29 championships held between 1914 and 1949. The AFLP was considered for many years the top football tournament in the country. In 1950 the body modified its statutes allowing the professionalisation of the sport in Bolivia, so the "Torneo Profesional" was created.[1]

Between 1950 and 1959, only clubs from La Paz, Oruro (since 1954) and Cochabamba (1955) took part of the championship because football was still amateur in the rest of the regions.

At the end of 1960, the Bolivian Football Federation established a national championship, with the purpose of crowning a champion representing Bolivia in recently created Copa Libertadores. The competition, named "Copa Simón Bolívar", was contested by champions and runner ups of regional associations.

The demise of Bolivian national team in the 1978 FIFA World Cup qualification (where it was thrashed by Brazil 8–0 and Peru 5–0) encouraged some clubs to create their own league, so 16 teams separated from their respective associations to establish the "Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano" (Bolivian Professional Football League – LFPB) to organise championships autonomously, in 1977.[2]

The creation of the LFPB 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 LFPB became the organizer of the sole first 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 was the first and currently the only professional sports league in the country.

In 2017, after a change of statutes in the FBF, both the LFPB and the ANF were merged into the "División de Fútbol Profesional", entity directly managed by the FBF, which started organizing the league from 2018 onwards.

Format overview[edit]

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. For the 2018 season, the number of teams was increased from twelve to fourteen.

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).

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 comprised all western teams (plus Universitario) and Group B comprised 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 (2018)[edit]

Locations of the 2018 Primera División teams.
Team Home city Stadium Capacity
Aurora Cochabamba Estadio Félix Capriles 32,000
Blooming Santa Cruz Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera 38,000
Bolívar La Paz Hernando Siles 42,000
Destroyers Santa Cruz Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera 38,000
Guabirá Montero Gilberto Parada 13,000
Jorge Wilstermann Cochabamba Estadio Félix Capriles 32,000
Nacional Potosí Potosí Víctor Agustín Ugarte 32,105
Oriente Petrolero Santa Cruz Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera 38,000
Real Potosí Potosí Víctor Agustín Ugarte 32,105
Royal Pari Santa Cruz Ramón Tahuichi Aguilera 38,000
San José Oruro Jesús Bermúdez 33,795
Sport Boys Warnes Samuel Vaca 9,000
The Strongest La Paz Hernando Siles 42,000
Universitario Sucre Olímpico Patria 30,700

List of champions[edit]

Torneo Interdepartamental (AFLP)[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
1950 Bolívar (1) Litoral Unión Maestranza
1951 Always Ready (1) Bolívar Ferroviario
1952 The Strongest (1) Always Ready Ingavi
1953 Bolívar (2) Always Ready Ingavi

Torneo Integrado (AFLP)[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
1954 Litoral (1) The Strongest Deportivo Municipal
1955 San José (1) Chaco Petrolero Bolívar
1956 Bolívar (2) Deportivo Municipal Litoral
1957 Always Ready (2) Deportivo Municipal Chaco Petrolero
1957 AFC–AFO Jorge Wilstermann (1) Aurora San José
1958 Jorge Wilstermann (2) Deportivo Municipal San José
1959 Jorge Wilstermann (3) Always Ready Bolívar

Copa Simón Bolívar (FBF)[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
1960 Jorge Wilstermann (4) Aurora Deportivo Municipal
1961 Deportivo Municipal (1) The Strongest Chaco Petrolero
1962 Chaco Petrolero (1) The Strongest Deportivo Municipal
1963 Aurora (1) Jorge Wilstermann
1964 The Strongest (2) Deportivo Municipal 31 de Octubre
1965 Deportivo Municipal (2) Jorge Wilstermann Oriente Petrolero
1966 Bolívar (4) 31 de Octubre Jorge Wilstermann
1967 Jorge Wilstermann (5) Always Ready Blooming
1968 Bolívar (5) Guabirá Litoral
1969 Universitario (LP) (1) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
1970 Chaco Petrolero (2) The Strongest
1971 Oriente Petrolero (1) Chaco Petrolero The Strongest
1972 Jorge Wilstermann (6) Oriente Petrolero Petrolero
1973 Jorge Wilstermann (7) Deportivo Municipal 31 de Octubre
1974 The Strongest (3) Jorge Wilstermann Bolívar
1975 Guabirá (1) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
1976 Bolívar (6) Oriente Petrolero Guabirá

Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
1977 The Strongest (4) Oriente Petrolero Bolívar
1978 Bolívar (7) Jorge Wilstermann Oriente Petrolero
1979 Oriente Petrolero (2) The Strongest Blooming
Bolívar
1980 Jorge Wilstermann (8) The Strongest Chaco Petrolero
1981 Jorge Wilstermann (9) Blooming Guabirá
Deportivo Municipal
1982 Bolívar (8) Jorge Wilstermann Blooming
Oriente Petrolero
1983 Bolívar (9) Oriente Petrolero Blooming
The Strongest
1984 Blooming (1) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
The Strongest
1985 Bolívar (10) Real Santa Cruz Jorge Wilstermann
1986 The Strongest (5) Oriente Petrolero No third-place awarded
1987 Bolívar (11) Oriente Petrolero No third-place awarded
1988 Bolívar (12) The Strongest No third-place awarded
1989 The Strongest (6) Oriente Petrolero No third-place awarded
1990 Oriente Petrolero (3) Bolívar No third-place awarded
1991 Bolívar (13) San José Oriente Petrolero
1992 Bolívar (14) San José Jorge Wilstermann
1993 The Strongest (7) Bolívar Blooming
1994 Bolívar (15) Jorge Wilstermann The Strongest
1995 San José (2) Guabirá Bolívar
1996 Bolívar (16) Oriente Petrolero The Strongest
1997 Bolívar (17) Oriente Petrolero Blooming
1998 Blooming (2) Jorge Wilstermann The Strongest
1999 Blooming (3) The Strongest Bolívar
2000 Jorge Wilstermann (10) Oriente Petrolero The Strongest
2001 Oriente Petrolero (4) Bolívar The Strongest
2002 Bolívar (18) Oriente Petrolero The Strongest
2003 Apertura The Strongest (8) Bolívar Jorge Wilstermann
Clausura The Strongest (9) Jorge Wilstermann Bolívar
2004 Apertura Bolívar (19) Aurora Jorge Wilstermann
Clausura The Strongest (10) Oriente Petrolero Real Potosí
2005 Adecuación Bolívar (20) The Strongest Oriente Petrolero
2005–06 Apertura Blooming (4) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
Clausura Bolívar (21) Real Potosí Universitario
2006 Segundo Torneo Jorge Wilstermann (11) Real Potosí Oriente Petrolero
2007 Apertura Real Potosí (1) Bolívar La Paz
Clausura San José (3) La Paz Blooming
2008 Apertura Universitario (1) La Paz San José
Clausura Aurora (2) Blooming La Paz
Real Potosí
2009 Apertura Bolívar (22) Real Potosí San José
Clausura Blooming (5) Bolívar The Strongest
Oriente Petrolero
2010 Apertura Jorge Wilstermann (12) Oriente Petrolero Aurora
Clausura Oriente Petrolero (5) Bolívar Aurora
2011 Adecuación Bolívar (23) Real Potosí Oriente Petrolero
2011–12 Apertura The Strongest (11) Universitario Oriente Petrolero
Clausura The Strongest (12) San José Oriente Petrolero
2012–13 Apertura The Strongest (13) San José Bolívar
Clausura Bolívar (24) Oriente Petrolero San José
2013–14 Apertura The Strongest (14) Bolívar San José
Clausura Universitario (2) San José The Strongest
2014–15 Apertura Bolívar (25) Oriente Petrolero The Strongest
Clausura Bolívar (26) The Strongest Jorge Wilstermann
2015–16 Apertura Sport Boys (1) Bolívar The Strongest
Clausura Jorge Wilstermann (13) The Strongest Universitario
2016–17 Apertura 2016 The Strongest (15) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
Apertura 2017 Bolívar (27) The Strongest Guabirá
Clausura Bolívar (28) The Strongest Jorge Wilstermann
  • Torneo Adecuación was celebrate to adequate seasons to European style (August–May)

División de Fútbol Profesional[edit]

Season Champion Runner-up Third Place
2018 Apertura Jorge Wilstermann (14) The Strongest San José
Clausura

Titles by club[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning years Runners-up years
Bolívar
28
15
1950, 1953, 1956, 1966, 1968, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004 Apertura, 2005 Adecuación, 2005–06 Clausura, 2009 Apertura, 2011 Adecuación, 2013 Clausura, 2014 Apertura, 2015 Clausura, 2017 Apertura, 2017 Clausura 1951, 1969, 1975, 1984, 1990, 1993, 2001, 2003 Apertura, 2005–06 Apertura, 2007 Apertura, 2009 Clausura, 2010 Clausura, 2013 Apertura, 2015 Apertura, 2016 Apertura
The Strongest
15
14
1952, 1964, 1974, 1977, 1986, 1989, 1993, 2003 Apertura, 2003 Clausura, 2004 Clausura, 2011 Apertura, 2012 Clausura, 2012 Apertura, 2013 Apertura, 2016 Apertura 1954, 1961, 1962, 1970, 1979, 1980, 1988, 1999, 2005 Adecuación, 2015 Clausura, 2016 Clausura, 2017 Apertura, 2017 Clausura, 2018 Apertura
Jorge Wilstermann
14
7
1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1967, 1972, 1973, 1980, 1981, 2000, 2006 Segundo Torneo, 2010 Apertura, 2016 Clausura, 2018 Apertura 1963, 1965, 1974, 1978, 1994, 1998, 2003 Clausura
Oriente Petrolero
5
15
1971, 1979, 1990, 2001, 2010 Clausura 1972, 1976, 1977, 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004 Clausura, 2010 Apertura, 2013 Clausura, 2014 Apertura
Blooming
5
3
1984, 1998, 1999, 2005–06 Apertura, 2009 Clausura 1982, 1983, 2008 Clausura
San José
3
5
1955, 1995, 2007 Clausura 1991, 1992, 2012 Clausura, 2012 Apertura, 2014 Clausura
Deportivo Municipal
2
5
1961, 1965 1956, 1957 Integrado, 1958, 1964, 1973
Always Ready
2
5
1951, 1957 1952, 1953, 1959, 1963, 1967
Aurora
2
4
1963, 2008 Clausura 1957, 1960, 1964, 2004 Apertura
Chaco Petrolero
2
2
1962, 1970 1955, 1971
Universitario
2
1
2008 Apertura, 2014 Clausura 2011 Apertura
Real Potosí
1
4
2007 Apertura 2005–06 Clausura, 2006 Segundo Torneo, 2009 Apertura, 2011 Adecuación
Guabirá
1
2
1975 1995, 1968
Litoral
1
1
1954 1950
Sport Boys
1
0
2015 Apertura
Universitario (LP)
1
0
1969

List of all-time topscorers[edit]

This is the list of the 16 all-time topscorer since the Bolivian league was established in 1977. Goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of February 2009.

# Name Nationality Career Goals
1. Víctor Hugo Antelo Bolivia 1983–2000 350
2. Juan Carlos Sánchez Argentina Bolivia 1979–1992 263
3. Luis Fernando Salinas Bolivia 1980–1993 201
4. Jesús Reynaldo Bolivia 1977–1993 196
5. Limberg Gutiérrez Bolivia 1997–2014 182
6. Joaquín Botero Bolivia 1997–2014 171
7. José Alfredo Castillo Bolivia 2000–present 167
8. Raúl Horacio Baldessari Argentina Bolivia 1977–1989 161
9. Cristino Jara Paraguay 1998–2009 141
10. Silvio Edmundo Rojas Bolivia 1977–1992 140
11. Luis William Ramallo Bolivia 1982–1999 138
12. Juan Berthy Suárez Bolivia 1990–2000 135
13. Erwin Romero Bolivia 1977–1992 134
14. Carlos Fernando Borja Bolivia 1977–1995 129
= Arturo García Bolivia 1983–1999 129
16. Jorge Hirano Peru 1986–1992 124

External links[edit]

  1. ^ Comienza El Profesionalismo 1950-1959 on Historia del fútbol boliviano by Carlos Mesa Gisbert
  2. ^ Y nació la liga by Jaime Galarza, 2 Jan 2012