State football leagues in Brazil

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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.[1] Due to their long tradition, they are highly regarded, and are almost as important as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.[2]

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.[3] So, each Brazilian state has its own state championship.[4] As of 2009, most of the state championships start in January and conclude in early May (23 dates assigned to matches).[5]

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.[3][6] These local matches are called clássicos (classics, or derbies). Some examples are Flamengo-Vasco, in Rio de Janeiro, Corinthians-São Paulo FC, in São Paulo, Atlético Mineiro-Cruzeiro in Minas Gerais, Náutico-Sport in Pernambuco, Grêmio-Internacional in Rio Grande do Sul, Atlético Paranaense-Coritiba, in Paraná, Bahia-Vitória in Bahia etc.[3]

The state champions and, in some states, the runners-up, are automatically qualified to play in the following year's Copa do Brasil.[7] 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.[8] In addition, the best teams in each state league also may qualify to regional cups like the Copa do Nordeste and the Copa Verde.

List of state football leagues in Brazil[edit]

For previous seasons champions, see Category:Seasons in Brazilian football.
Federal unit Championship 2015 Champion
Acre (state) Acre Campeonato Acriano Rio Branco
Alagoas Alagoas Campeonato Alagoano CRB
Amapá Amapá Campeonato Amapaense to be decided
Amazonas (Brazilian state) Amazonas Campeonato Amazonense Nacional
Bahia Bahia Campeonato Baiano Bahia
Ceará Ceará Campeonato Cearense Fortaleza
Federal District (Brazil) Distrito Federal Campeonato Brasiliense Gama
Espírito Santo Espírito Santo Campeonato Capixaba Rio Branco
Goiás Goiás Campeonato Goiano Goiás
Maranhão Maranhão Campeonato Maranhense Imperatriz
Mato Grosso Mato Grosso Campeonato Mato-Grossense Cuiabá
Mato Grosso do Sul Mato Grosso do Sul Campeonato Sul-Mato-Grossense Comercial
Minas Gerais Minas Gerais Campeonato Mineiro Atlético Mineiro
Pará Pará Campeonato Paraense Remo
Paraíba Paraíba Campeonato Paraibano Campinense
Paraná (state) Paraná Campeonato Paranaense Operário
Pernambuco Pernambuco Campeonato Pernambucano Santa Cruz
Piauí Piauí Campeonato Piauiense Ríver
Rio de Janeiro (state) Rio de Janeiro Campeonato Carioca Vasco da Gama
Rio Grande do Norte Rio Grande do Norte Campeonato Potiguar América de Natal
Rio Grande do Sul Rio Grande do Sul Campeonato Gaúcho Internacional
Rondônia Rondônia Campeonato Rondoniense Genus
Roraima Roraima Campeonato Roraimense Náutico
Santa Catarina (state) Santa Catarina Campeonato Catarinense Joinville
São Paulo (state) São Paulo Campeonato Paulista Santos
Sergipe Sergipe Campeonato Sergipano Confiança
Tocantins Tocantins Campeonato Tocantinense Tocantinópolis

Unrelegated football clubs[edit]

The first column of this table lists all clubs that have continuously played in their premier state league since debuting more than ten years ago. The second column contains these teams that have continuously played at their premier state league for 75 years or more. Clubs that are in bold are founding members of their state league.

Note that in 2002, Santos and América Mineiro competed in the Torneio Rio – São Paulo and Copa Sul-Minas, respectively, and did not qualify for the superchampionship fase of their state league through these tournaments, thus ending their uninterrupted spell.

Championship Continuously in state league since debut (min. 10 years) Continuously in state league for 75 years or more
Acriano Rio Branco (1947), Atlético Acreano (1952)
Alagoano Corinthians Alagoano (1998), Murici (1999)
Amapaense Santos (1998)
Baiano Bahia (1931) Bahia (1931-), Vitória (1938-)
Candango Gama (1976), Brasiliense (2001)
Goiano Goiás (1944)
Maranhense* Sampaio Corrêa (1970)
Mato-Grossense Luverdense (2004)
Sul-Mato-Grossense CENE (2000)
Mineiro Atlético Mineiro (1915-), Cruzeiro (1921-) Atlético Mineiro (1915-), América Mineiro (1915–2001), Cruzeiro (1921-)
Paraense* Paysandu (1965), Remo (1965), São Raimundo (1998), Águia de Marabá (1999)
Paranaense Coritiba (1915), J. Malucelli (1999) Coritiba (1915-), Atlético Paranaense (1924-)
Pernambucano Santa Cruz (1915), Náutico (1916) Santa Cruz (1915-), Náutico (1916-)
Carioca Botafogo (1906), Fluminense (1906), Flamengo (1912), Vasco da Gama (1921) Botafogo (1906-), Fluminense (1906-), America (1908-2008),
Flamengo (1912-), Bangu (1915-2004), Vasco da Gama (1921-)
Potiguar ASSU (2002), Santa Cruz (2005)
Gaúcho Veranópolis (1994)
Rondoniense Genus (1998)
Roraimense* Roraima (1995), GAS (1996)
Catarinão Chapecoense (1974), Joinville (1976), Metropolitano (2005)
Paulistão Palmeiras (1916) Corinthians (1916-), Palmeiras (1916-), Santos** (1916-2001), São Paulo (1936-)
Sergipano* Confiança (1969), Itabaiana (1969), Sergipe (1969)
Tocantinense Tocantinópolis (1993), Palmas (1997)

*Information from these state leagues is only available from the date indicated after the first team.
**Santos withdrew from the 1920 Paulistão.

Source: RSSSF Brasil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Campeonato Paulista 1902" (in Portuguese). Campeões do Futebol. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  2. ^ Soares, Thales (February 2, 2008). "Apesar da fórmula desigual, cariocas ainda batem recordes" (in Portuguese). JB Online. Retrieved February 19, 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Duarte, Orlando; Jairo Giovenardi (February 2, 2008). "O diferencial no futebol brasileiro" (in Portuguese). Diário de Sorocaba. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Campeonatos Estaduais (State Championships)" (in Portuguese). RSSSF Brasil. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  5. ^ Azevedo, José Geraldo (October 8, 2008). "CBF modifica calendário de 2009" (in Portuguese). Justiça Desportiva. Retrieved February 19, 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ Marques, Dassler (December 10, 2008). "Cenário redimensionado" (in Portuguese). Trivela. Retrieved February 19, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Copa do Brasil de 2009" (PDF) (in Portuguese). CBF. December 17, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "CBF enxuga Série C e cria a D em 2009" (in Portuguese). Globo Esporte. April 9, 2008. Retrieved February 19, 2009.