Ukrainian football league system

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Ukrainian football league system has developed over the years. If the top two tiers have developed a fixed number of participants, the number of competitors in the tiers below the second has been changing almost every year.

League system (senior teams)[edit]

Level League(s)/Division(s) P/R
1 Ukrainian Premier League
Premyer Liha
14 teams

Decrease 1
2 Ukrainian First League
Persha Liha
16 teams
Increase 1
Decrease 2-3
3 Ukrainian Second League*
Druha Liha
14 teams
Increase 2-3
4 National Amateur Level Competitions (before 1998 KFK competitions)
number of teams inconsistent
5 Regional (Oblast) First Level
~25 Leagues
6 Regional(Oblast) Second Level
~20 Leagues
District / City First Level
Multiple Leagues
7 Regional(Oblast) Third Level
~5 Leagues
District / City Second Level
Multiple Leagues
8 Regional(Oblast) Fourth Level District/City Third Level
Premier League
Professional League
Association of amateur clubs
Regional competitions

League system (junior teams)[edit]

The league system is more based on age. All for levels are national leagues. Regional leagues organize own youth competitions along with adults.

Age League(s)/Division(s) P/R
U-21 U-21 Championship
Do 21oho chempionat
16 teams
U-19 U-19 Championship
Do 19ty chempionat
16 teams
U-17 Youth Football League*
Dytiacho-yunatska futbolna liha
two divisions, 120 teams
U-13 Leather Ball Cup
Kubok shkiryanoho myacha



The first three levels of the football League system in Ukraine are the professional level competitions, the rest are the amateur and sometimes inconsistent. The first four levels are the national type competitions and divided among three independent football organizations:

There is also national youth competition that consists of the youth teams from all of the professional clubs as well as some of the amateurs and schools of Olympic Reserve. The competitions are divided among several age group of participants between ages of 14 and 17. Each professional club is obliged to be represented with at least one team in those competitions.


The regional competitions are primarily organized by the football organizations of their respective regions. The regional organizations form the FFU Council of Regions that provides some degree of uniformity between the competitions of different regions and answers to the Executive Committee of FFU. There are 27 members of the council including representatives from the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol. Similar to the national, each regional organization also have a leagues system, but usually do not exceed two levels. There are also cup competitions of each region. The regional youth competitions are organized consequently with the senior competitions and each round of those takes place usually a day prior. Each regional football association has the right upon conclusion of a season recommends the best club or clubs of their choice to the Ukrainian Football Amateur Association.


There also is the Student Football League, which is less famous and is completely a part of the league system. The players of the league represent Ukraine in Universiadas as a national team. There were some discussions to spread a similar type of competition through Europe. The student national team sometimes is composed of professional-level players and can be considered as a type of B-team.


Until 1996 all competitions in the country were organized exclussively by the FFU. The participants of today's professional type competitions were considered to be as the non-amateurs. In 1996 all clubs were required to get incorporated and form professional entities. From 1996 to 2008 PFL officially took over the control for all of the professional level competitions including the today's Vyscha Liha. Since the 2008 the Premier League has split from the PFL and reorganized as the independent organization guided by FFU. From 1993 to 1995, for three seasons, the league system consisted of four levels of the non-amateur football. At the end of the 1995 the Tretia Liha, the fourth level, was merged with the Druha Liha which in turn was split into two groups based on the regional principal (A is western part, B - eastern). Later for sometime the Druha Liha consisted of three regional groupes: A (west/north), B (center/south), C (big east).

Number of participants[edit]

Season Premier First Second Third Total
2014–15 14 16 10 40
2013–14 16 16 19 51
2012–13 16 18 24 58
2011–12 16 18 28 62
2010–11 16 18 24 58
2009–10 16 18 26 60
2008–09 16 18 36 70
2007–08 16 20 34 70
2006–07 16 20 30 66
2005–06 16 18 43 77
2004–05 16 18 44 78
2003–04 16 18 48 82
2002–03 16 18 46 80
2001–02 14 18 55 87
2000–01 14 18 48 80
1999–00 16 18 44 78
1998–99 16 20 46 82
1997–98 16 22 51 89
1996–97 16 24 33 73
1995–96 18 22 43 83
1994–95 18 22 22 22 84
1993–94 18 20 22 18 78
1992–93 16 22 18 18 74
1992 20 28 18 66