Azerbaijani football league system
CountryAzerbaijan
SportAssociation football
Promotion and relegationYes (men)
No (women and amateur)
National system
FederationAssociation of Football Federations of Azerbaijan
ConfederationUEFA
Top division
Second divisionFirst League (men)
Cup competitionAzerbaijan Cup (men)
Association football in Azerbaijan

The Azerbaijani football league system is a series of partially unconnected leagues for Azerbaijani football clubs. Unlike in many other nations, Azerbaijan runs separate concurrent leagues for professional football and amateur football, with no regular promotion or relegation between the professional and amateur leagues.

As of October 2023, Qarabağ are the current record holders with 10 titles.

Current system

Professional football

The current system has been in place since the creation of the Azerbaijan Premier League at the start of the 2001-2002 season. For each division, its official name, sponsored name and number of clubs is given:

Level League(s) / Division(s)
Professional Leagues
1 Azərbaycan Premyer Liqası
10 clubs
↓ 1 relegation spot
2 Azərbaycan Birinci Liqası
10 clubs
↑ 1 promotion spot
↓ 1 relegation spot + 1 relegation play-off spot
Semi-Professional League
3 Azərbaycan İkinci Liqası
14 clubs
↑ 1 promotion spot + 1 promotion play-off spot
↓ 1 relegation spot + 1 relegation play-off spot
Non-Professional Leagues
4 Azərbaycan Region Liqası
40 clubs
↑ 1 promotion spot + 1 promotion play-off spot

The regional leagues, which is the lowest semi-professional tier and include the North, West, Nakhchivan, Central, Karabakh, Baku, South and North-West Regional Football Leagues,[1] are all overseen by the Azerbaijan Football Association but they do not participate in the Azerbaijan Cup, with most clubs ineligible due to having inadequate stadiums.

The women's league was first formed in 2003, though it was not then held between 2008 and 2023 except for 2+12 seasons.[2][3] Only a top division has been run and the number of teams has varied considerably before.

Level League/Division
1 Azerbaijani Women's Football Championship
Irregular, currently defunct

Amateur football

Completely independent from the professional pyramid, there also exists an amateur league system. Azerbaijan's Amateur League is divided into four regions, which includes Baku, North, West and Central Region.

Level League/Division
1 Azərbaycan Həvəskarlar Liqası
36 clubs

Cup eligibility

Domestic cups

All Azerbaijan Premier League and Azerbaijan First Division clubs directly enter the Azerbaijan Cup.

European cups

From season 2008-09, the top side in the Azerbaijan Premier League qualify for the second qualifying stage of Champions League, while the second and third placed teams qualifying for the first qualifying stage of UEFA Europa League. The winners of the Azerbaijan Cup also qualify for the Europa League's second qualifying stage.

While Azeri clubs initially entered the UEFA Women's Champions League from 2003, the removal of the senior league has meant that no Azeri team has competed since 2007.

See also

References