The A Lyga is the top division of professional football in Lithuania. It is organized by Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Futbolo Federacija).
|Number of teams||10 (2023)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||I Lyga|
|Domestic cup(s)||Lithuanian Football Cup |
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa Conference League
|Current champions||FK Žalgiris (10th title) |
|Most championships||FK Žalgiris (10 titles)|
|Current: 2023 A Lyga|
The first football league was established in Lithuania in 1924, and in various forms existed until 1939. During the period of Soviet occupation, a Lithuanian amateur top division existed, while professional players played in USSR football competitions. The Lithuanian professional top division was restored in 1991. The naming convention changed several times, but since 1999 the league is consistently referred to as A lyga.
The league system and size have also stabilized since 1999. League size varied mostly between 8 and 10 teams, with the exceptions of 2011 A Lyga featuring 12 teams, and 2020 A Lyga record low of only 6 teams. The teams play 4 rounds in regular season. The bottom placed team is relegated, while 9th placed team contests in a play-off with the 2nd placed team from the I lyga. The final list of participants often did not correlate to the final results of the previous season, as the participation were rather finalized through the Lithuanian Football Federation league licensing process.
The season usually kicks off in late February or early March and ends in November. Because of harsh climate, there are no games in winter. Early spring and late autumn games are played in indoor arenas on artificial grass. Winter transfer window opens in early January through to mid March. Summer transfer window lasts for the most part of July.
Lithuania sought to participate in the UEFA club competitions immediately after regaining the independence. However, due to political reasons, in 1991 Lithuania was banned by UEFA from continental competitions refusing licensing of Žalgiris to compete as a Lithuanian club rather than a Soviet club. Eventually, Lithuania became affiliated with UEFA in 1992. The A Lyga champion secures the right to play in UEFA Champions League qualification. The runner up and the 3rd-place winner secure right to play in UEFA Europa Conference League qualification.
Best Lithuanian club result in UEFA competitions was achieved in 2022-23 UEFA club competition season by FK Žalgiris. Lithuanian champions reached the group stage in the 2022–23 UEFA Europa Conference League. After the 2022-23 UEFA season, FK Žalgiris was the best performing A lyga club in Europe, taking #130 in UEFA Club Coefficients table.
|Club||Location||Position in 2022||First season
in A Lyga
of current spell
|DFK Dainava||Alytus||1st in I Lyga||2021||2c||2023||—|
|FK Kauno Žalgirisb||Kaunas||2nd||2015||9||2015||—|
a Founding member of the A Lyga
b Never been relegated from the A Lyga
c Two former clubs, named FK Dainava have participated in A lyga in 2001, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
|1991–1999||No sponsor||Lietuvos Lyga|
|2001–2003||LFF A Lyga|
|2004–2008||NFKA A Lyga|
|2009–2011||LFF A Lyga|
|2012||General Financing||LFF General Financing A Lyga|
|2013–2016||Credit Service||SMScredit.lt A Lyga|
|2017–2020||No sponsor||LFF A Lyga|
|2021–||Optibet||Optibet A Lyga|
The official ball supplier for the A lyga games in 2023 is Adidas. Nike held this contract between 2013 and 2022, when they took over from Adidas.
Hall of FameEdit
Interbellum and WWIIEdit
After Lithuania gained independence in 1918, the first ever football tournament was held in 1922.
Note: In 1924–1930, 1935, 1942, 1942–1943 and 1945 seasons there was no unified league and winners were decided using either a play–off format or a single game between winners of separate divisions.
Performance by clubEdit
|Kovas Kaunas||6||4||1||1924, 1925, 1926, 1933, 1935, 1936|
|KSS Klaipėda||6||3||1||1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1937, 1937–38|
|LFLS Kaunas||5||6||2||1922, 1923, 1927, 1932, 1942|
All champions from this period are defunct.
Post-War period and the Lithuanian SSR ChampionshipEdit
During the Lithuania's Soviet occupation, each soviet republic ran their separate football championship. The clubs could either participate in the competition of the soviet republic, or in the Soviet Union football league system.
Note: The biggest and most notable clubs, such as Žalgiris Vilnius played in Soviet Union's Football Premier League instead of Lithuanian SSR Divisions.
Performance by clubEdit
|Elnias Šiauliai†||7||3||3||1948, 1949, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1959–60, 1960–61|
|Inkaras Kaunas†||5||6||5||1950, 1951, 1954, 1964, 1965|
|Atlantas Klaipėda||4||7||-||1978, 1980, 1981, 1984|
|Karininkų Namai / Raudonoji Žvaigždė / Saliutas Vilnius†||3||3||1||1952, 1958–59, 1967|
|Nevėžis Kėdainiai||3||2||3||1966, 1972, 1973|
|Pažanga Vilnius†||3||2||2||1971, 1982, 1983|
|Statybininkas Šiauliai†||2||2||1||1969, 1977|
|Statyba Panevėžys†||2||1||3||1962–63, 1968|
|FK Atletas Kaunas†||2||1||-||1961–62, 1970|
|Atmosfera Mažeikiai†||2||-||2||1976, 1979|
|Banga Kaunas†||2||-||1||1986, 1989|
|Linų Audiniai Plungė||1||-||2||1956|
Clubs currently playing in A Lyga are written in Bold.
† - Defunct clubs.
Regained Independence and the A Lyga - presentEdit
As Lithuania regained the independence in 1991, the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) was re-established, and A Lyga was shaped same year. The Soviet football divisions dissolved, and the teams that participated in them returned to the Lithuania's national championship.
List of champions (1991–)Edit
Performance by clubEdit
|Žalgiris Vilnius||10||11||4||1991, 1991–92, 1998–99, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2020, 2021, 2022|
|FBK Kaunas†||8||2||2||1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007|
|Ekranas Panevėžys†||7||4||5||1992–93, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012|
|Sūduva Marijampolė||3||4||5||2017, 2018, 2019|
|Kareda Šiauliai†||2||2||-||1996–97, 1997–98|
|Inkaras Kaunas†||2||-||1||1994–95, 1995–96|
Clubs currently playing in A Lyga are highlighted in Bold.
† - Defunct clubs.
The average number of spectators per match remains very low in recent years. 
Graphs are temporarily unavailable due to technical issues.
- ^ "UEFA Club Coefficients". Retrieved 2023-02-23.
- ^ ""General Financing" - LFF A lygos pagrindinis rėmėjas" (in Lithuanian). Lithuanian Football Federation. 13 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- ^ a b "2013 metų A lygos startas - su naujais partneriais ir didesnėmis ambicijomis" (in Lithuanian). Lithuanian Football Federation. 27 February 2013. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- ^ "Generaliniu a lygos rėmėju tampa "Optibet", pradedama partnerystė su TV3 žiniasklaidos grupe".
- ^ A lyga. lfe.lt.
- ^ "Nauji futbolo vėjai". Vakarų Ekspresas (in Lithuanian). 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
- ^ "LFF klubų licencijavimas. Pagrindiniai skaičiai – 2020 m." (PDF). LFF.lt (in Lithuanian). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-11-26. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
- ^ "Lietuvos Futbolo Federacijos veiklos ataskaita, 2019 metai" (PDF). LFF.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 2021-11-30.
- ^ "A lygos lankomumas augo nepaisant apribojimų". Alyga.lt (in Lithuanian). 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2021-11-30.
- ^ "Statistika". Alyga.lt (in Lithuanian). Retrieved 2021-11-30.
- Official website (in Lithuanian)
- Futbolo.TV - A lyga streaming and video center (in Lithuanian)
- RSSSF.com - List of Champions
- Lithuanian Football: History & Statistics by Almis - Championship statistics