Football in Latvia
CountryLatvia
Governing bodyLatvian Football Federation
National team(s)Latvia national football team
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Football is the number one sport based on participation, but the third sport in Latvia after ice hockey and basketball based on popularity.[1] Many other sports are also more popular than football in Latvia, but in recent years it has gained more popularity.[2][3] The Latvian Football Federation (Latvian: Latvijas Futbola federācija) is the sport's national governing body.[4][5] There is a league system, with the Higher League and First League serving as the top leagues in Latvia. There is the Latvian Second League also, where mostly amateur teams play. There are also national cup competitions, with the Latvian Cup being the most notable.

History

The Latvian Football Federation was founded in 1921. In 1922 The Latvian Football Federation joined FIFA.[6] In 1940-1991, Latvia was part of the USSR and as an independent state did not take part in the World Cup and European championships. After gaining independence in 1992, membership was restored.

Domestic Football

Skonto FC were the most popular and successful football team in Latvia and have won the Latvian Higher League 14 times since independence from Russia.[7][8][9] Latvian football is rife with corruption and bribery.[10] FK Ventspils is the only team from Latvia which has played in the group stage of the UEFA Europe League (2009–10). No Latvian team has ever reached the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

League system

Level League(s)/Division(s)
1

Latvian Higher League
9 clubs

2

Latvian First League
10 clubs

3 Latvian Second League
Region of Riga
13 clubs
Latvian Second League
Region of Vidzeme
15 clubs
Latvian Second League
Region of Kurzeme/Zemgale
10 clubs
Latvian Second League
Region of Latgale
8 clubs
Latvian Second League
Region of Northeast
5 clubs

National team

Main article: Latvia national football team

The Latvia national football team in 2003 qualified to Euro 2004.[11][12] This resulted in being the first and currently only Baltic national team to do so.

See also

National teams

Women's teams

Competitions

Leagues

Women's leagues

Cups

Clubs

See also

References

  1. ^ "A German aims to improve the state of football in Latvia". dpa International. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Daugava's recipe for title success". UEFA.com. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  3. ^ "Hard work bearing fruit for Latvia –". Uefa.com. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  4. ^ "When Saturday Comes - Riga mortis". Wsc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  5. ^ "BBC SPORT | Football | Euro 2004 | Latvia | How they qualified: Latvia". BBC News. 2004-05-21. Retrieved 2013-11-15.
  6. ^ "Latvian football survives setbacks | Inside UEFA". UEFA.com. July 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Bousfield, Jonathan (13 March 2019). Baltic States. Rough Guides. ISBN 9781858288406. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ Fuller, Stuart (17 October 2016). The Football Tourist: The Second Half. Ockley Books. ISBN 9781912022519. Retrieved 13 March 2019 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ "Skonto FC declared insolvent". eng.lsm.lv. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  10. ^ O'Connor, Robert (26 September 2016). "Match-Fixing and Money Laundering: The Bitter Demise of Latvian Soccer". Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  11. ^ uefa.com. "UEFA EURO 2004 - History - Latvia". UEFA.com. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Johnson's vision provides cause for celebration in Latvia and Yeovil". The Independent. 22 November 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2019.