State football leagues in Brazil
State football leagues in Brazil are football leagues competed in each of the 26 states of Brazil and in the Federal District. One such league, the Campeonato Paulista, which started in 1902, is the oldest football competition in Brazil. Due to their long tradition, they are highly regarded, and are almost as important as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
Historically, because of economical or geographical issues, the long distances between important cities of the country made the Brazilian people develop a strong competitive culture within the states. So, each Brazilian state has its own state championship. As of 2009, most of the state championships start in January and conclude in early May (23 dates assigned to matches).
Due to these competitions, some matches between rival clubs of the same state or city have a similar or bigger importance than an interstate match between two important clubs. These local matches are called clássicos (classics, or derbies). Some examples are Fla-Flu, in Rio de Janeiro, Corinthians-Palmeiras and San-São in São Paulo, Atlético-Cruzeiro in Minas Gerais, Naútico-Sport in Pernambuco, Gre–Nal in Rio Grande do Sul, Atle-Tiba, in Paraná, Ba-Vi in Bahia etc.
The state champions and, in some states, the runners-up, are automatically qualified to play in the following year's Copa do Brasil. Also, the best placed clubs of each state which are not competing the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, Série B or Série C qualify to the same year's Série D. In addition, the best teams in each state league also may qualify to regional cups like the Copa do Nordeste and the Copa Verde.
2015 state champions
List of state football leagues in Brazil
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