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HOME: Russian / Ukrainian Sports: Football in Russia, Ukraine

Russian, Ukrainian Football

 

 

As in many nations, football in Russia and Ukraine is the number one sport in both of the former Soviet states. Thanks in large part to simple economics (affordable equipment, facilities), more youth play the game in an organized level than any other team sport, including hockey. On a spectator level there is a wide abundance of professional and amateur clubs to keep even the most avid football fans entertained.

 

Russian / Ukrainian / Soviet stars

UEFA Euro 2012

Official website

Euro 2012 tickets

Russian League System

Ukrainian League System

 

 

 

 

Russian League System

 

russian-flagThe system of Russia football leagues and divisions is quite simple. The top 3 divisions; the Premier Division, First Division and Second Division are administered by the Professional Football League. The 4th and final level is the Amateur Football League, comprising of 10 different zones.

 

At the end of each season; the bottom 2 teams of the Premier League drop down, the top 2 teams of the First Division move up. The bottom 5 teams of the First Division move down and the top 5 teams of the Second Division move up. Finally, top teams of the AFL move up (provided they meet Professional Football League requirements), while the bottom teams of the Second Division are relegated to the AFL. This means that a new club can theoretically enter the Russian league system and reach the Premier League in as little as 3 years.

 

  Russian Leagues & Divisions
1 Premier Division
16 clubs
2 First Division
20 clubs
3 Second Division
West
Second Division
Centre
Second Division
South
Second Division
Ural-Povolzhye
Second Division
South
4 AFL
NorthWest
AFL
Golden Ring
AFL
Centre
(Moscow)
AFL
Centre
(Moscow Oblast)
AFL
South
AFL
Chernozemye
AFL
Ural and
West Siberia
AFL
Privolzhye
AFL
Far East
AFL
Siberia

 

A youth championship also exists between reserve teams of the Premier League. Reserve teams, which play in a parallel league to their parent clubs, are limited by the number of players they can have on the pitch at a time that are over 21 years of age or without a Russian citizenship.

 

 

 

 

Ukrainian League System

 

ukrainian-flagThe Ukrainian League System is very similar to the Russian system mentioned above. The Premier League, First League and Second League constitute the three levels of professional Ukrainian football, while the fourth level, the Amateur Football Association of Ukraine (AAFU), is the premier league for amateur (professionally non-licensed) clubs.

 

At the end of each season; the bottom 2 teams of Ukraine's Premier League are relegated to the First League, while the top 2 teams of the the First League move up. The bottom 2 teams of the First League move down, while the while the top 2 teams of the Second League move up. In theory clubs placing last in the Second League would also get demoted to the AAFU, but due to financial difficulties that force some professional clubs to withdraw from play, this practice has been suspended.

 

The Ukrainian Championship is awarded to the winner of the Premier League. If two teams finish the season with the same number of points, an additional "golden" match is played between the two teams. The Ukrainian Cup, on the other hand, is awarded through a national knockout tournament. The tournament is composed of 16 teams from the premier league and 16 teams from lower leagues who advance through qualification rounds. There is also the Ukrainian Super Cup which is awarded in a one game match-up between the winners of the Ukrainian Championship and Ukrainian Cup. In the event that the same team holds both titles, the runner-up in the Premier League is the challenger. The Super Cup is played as a grand-opening at the start of every football season.

 

  Ukrainian Football Leagues
1 Ukrainian Premier League (Vyscha Liha)
16 clubs
2 Ukrainian First League (Persha Liha)
18 clubs
3 Ukrainian Second League (Druha Liha A)
18 clubs
Ukrainian Second League (Druha Liha B)
18 clubs
4 Amateur Football Association of Ukraine (AAFU)
27 regional associations

 

Regional Football Federations / Associations in Ukraine (27 in total)

 
  • Cherkasy Oblast FF
  • Chernihov Oblast FF
  • Chernivtsi Oblast FF
  • Crimean Republic FF
  • Dnipropetrovsk Oblast FF
  • Donetsk Oblast FF
  • Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast FF
  • Kharkiv Oblast FF
  • Kherson Oblast FF
  • Khmelnytskyi Oblast FF
  • Kirovohrad Oblast FF
  • Kyiv Oblast FF
  • Luhansk Oblast FF
  • Lviv Oblast FF
  • Mykolaiv Oblast FF
  • Odessa Oblast FF
  • Poltava Oblast FF
  • Rivne Oblast FF
  • Sumy Oblast FF
  • Ternopil Oblast FF
  • Vinnytsia Oblast FF
  • Volyn Oblast FF
  • Zakarpattia Oblast FF
  • Zaporizhia Oblast FF
  • Zhytomyr Oblast
  • Kyiv City FF
  • Sevastopol City FF