Belarusian Premier League
The Belarusian Premier League or the Vyšejšaja Liha or the Vysheyshaya Liga (Belarusian: Вышэйшая ліга, Russian: Высшая лига, "Top League") is the top division of professional football in Belarus, and is organized by the Belarusian Football Federation. The number of teams in the competition has varied over the years from as high as 17 (1992–93 season) to as low as 11 (2012). As of 2016, the league includes 16 teams. Each team plays every other team twice during the course of the season. At the end of the season, the two teams with the fewest points are automatically relegated to the Belarusian First League, while the third worst team plays a promotion-relegation playoff against the third best team from the second tier. The top two teams from the Belarusian First League automatically win promotion to the Premier League. Dinamo Brest are the current champions, after winning their first championship title in 2019.
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Belarusian First League|
|Domestic cup(s)||Belarusian Cup|
Belarusian Super Cup
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
|Current champions||Dynamo Brest (1st title) |
|Most championships||BATE Borisov (15 titles)|
|TV partners||Belarus 5|
|2020 Belarusian Premier League|
The Belarusian Premier League was organized in 1992. The first participants were: Dinamo Minsk, the only Belarusian side in the former Soviet Top League, five teams from the lower tiers of the Soviet league system, and ten teams who were previous competitors in the Belarusian SSR First League.
After the league creation, it was decided to change its schedule from a Soviet-style summer season to a European-style winter season. To perform the transition, the first season was shortened, consisting of a single round-robin tournament between 16 teams, finishing in mid-summer. Due to the shortened season, no team was relegated from the Premier League and only one was promoted from the First League. The 1992–93 season had 17 teams, but was reduced back to 16 teams for the following season. In 1995, the winter season experiment was proven unsuccessful due to poor weather and field conditions in Belarus in the late autumn and early spring. The season was changed back to summer, and the 1995 championship was once again held as a single round-robin tournament. Every season since 1996 has been played in the summer.
Throughout the 2000s, the number of competing teams has changed several times. In 2001, the league was reduced to 14 teams, but expanded back to 16 in 2003. In 2005, after two teams withdrew before the start of the season, the league was once again reduced to 14 clubs, but expanded again to 16 teams in 2008. That same year, the decision was made to gradually reduce the number of teams even more, starting with 14 teams in 2009 and 12 in 2010 onwards. 2012 season was played with only 11 teams due to last minute withdrawal of Partizan Minsk.
In its earliest years, the league was dominated by Dinamo Minsk, who won the league five times in a row between 1992 and 1995. During the next ten seasons, seven different teams finished as champions: Slavia Mozyr (1996 as MPKC Mozyr, 2000), Dinamo Minsk (1997, 2004), Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev (1998), BATE Borisov (1999, 2002), Belshina Bobruisk (2001), Gomel (2003), Shakhtyor Soligorsk (2005). Since 2006, BATE Borisov has dominated the league, winning 13 championships in a row (2006–2018), and becoming the first Belarusian team to reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League (2008) and the UEFA Europa League (2009) (feats that they have achieved repeatedly in the following years).
In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the other football leagues in Europe were postponed, and by the end of the month, the Belarusian Premier League was the only top flight league in the continent that was still playing. Due to this, the league gained substantially increased viewership from abroad, with fans from all over the world watching the games online, due to the league being the only significant professional football available. British betting companies also offered odds for the various matches, as the league's profile, previously relatively unknown outside of the country, grew a larger audience due to sporting inactivity elsewhere.
Premier League in 2020Edit
|Team||Location||Venue||Capacity||Position in 2019|
|Belshina||Bobruisk||Spartak Stadium||3,700||1st (First League)|
|Dinamo Brest||Brest||OSK Brestskiy||10,060||1st|
|Dinamo Minsk||Minsk||Dinamo Stadium||22,000||4th|
|Isloch||Minsk Raion||FC Minsk Stadium||3,000||5th|
|Minsk||Minsk||FC Minsk Stadium||3,000||10th|
|Rukh||Brest||Yunost Stadium||2,310||3rd (First League)|
|Smolevichi||Smolevichi||Ozyorny Stadium||1,600||2nd (First League)|
Soviet era championsEdit
Champions and top scorersEdit
Performance by clubEdit
|BATE Borisov||15 (1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)||5 (1998, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2019)||1 (2001)|
|Dinamo Minsk||7 (1992, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995, 1997, 2004)||9 (1996, 2001, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2014, 2015, 2017)||6 (2000, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018)|
|Slavia Mozyr||2 (1996, 2000)||2 (1995, 1999)||–|
|Shakhtyor Soligorsk||1 (2005)||6 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2018)||8 (2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019)|
|Gomel||1 (2003)||1 (2007)||2 (1999, 2011)|
|Belshina Bobruisk||1 (2001)||1 (1997)||2 (1996, 1998)|
|Dnepr Mogilev||1 (1998)||1 (1992)||1 (2009)|
|Dynamo Brest||1 (2019)||–||1 (1992)|
|Vitebsk||–||2 (1992–93, 1994–95)||2 (1993–94, 1997)|
|Dinamo-93 Minsk||–||1 (1993–94)||3 (1992–93, 1994–95, 1995)|
|Neman Grodno||–||1 (2002)||–|
|Partizan Minsk||–||–||2 (2005, 2008)|
- As of end of 2019 season.
|1||Dinamo Minsk||29||1992||—||822||488||179||155||1489–703||1643||1st (1992, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995, 1997, 2004)|
|2||BATE Borisov||22||1998||—||641||431||126||84||1270–486||1419||1st (1999, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)|
|3||Shakhtyor Soligorsk||29||1992||—||822||394||201||229||1192–825||1373||1st (2005)|
|4||Neman Grodno||29||1992||—||823||297||213||313||907–992||1104||2nd (2002)|
|5||Dinamo Brest||29||1992||—||822||295||200||327||1025–1070||1085||1st (2019)|
|6||Dnepr Mogilev||25||1992||2018||707||261||176||260||913–889||959||1st (1998)|
|7||Vitebsk||24||1992||—||672||251||169||252||767–815||922||2nd (1992–93, 1994–95)|
|9||Belshina Bobruisk||20||1993–94||—||578||219||128||231||784–770||785||1st (2001)|
|10||Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino||20||1992||—||572||212||145||215||664–659||781||4th (2004, 2005, 2007, 2014)|
|11||Naftan Novopolotsk||21||1996||2017||615||190||131||294||716–945||696||4th (2009)|
|12||Slavia Mozyr||17||1995||—||479||179||112||198||672–703||619||1st (1996, 2000)|
|13||Torpedo Minsk||15||1992||2019||428||158||115||155||481–475||589||4th (2002, 2003)|
|15||Dinamo-93 Minsk||7||1992–93||1998||181||99||43||39||296–157||340||2nd (1993–94)|
|17||Partizan Minsk||7||2004||2010||198||80||42||76||288–281||282||3rd (2005, 2008)|
|18||Torpedo-Kadino Mogilev||10||1992||2000||271||64||76||131||266–444||268||7th (1992)|
|20||Vedrich-97 Rechitsa||8||1992||2001||208||46||44||118||167–327||182||8th (1992)|
|21||Darida Minsk Raion||6||2003||2008||168||44||38||86||165–252||170||8th (2006)|
|24||Isloch Minsk Raion||4||2016||—||119||41||29||49||119–158||152||5th (2019)|
|26||Granit Mikashevichi||4||2008||2016||112||31||35||46||112–161||128||5th (2015)|
|27||Energetik-BGU Minsk||5||2002||—||141||28||32||81||155–294||116||12th (2002, 2003, 2019)|
|28||Ataka Minsk||3||1995||1997||75||29||16||30||86–93||103||4th (1995)|
|29||Lokomotiv Minsk||4||2003||2008||112||23||25||64||100–187||94||11th (2005)|
|30||Lokomotiv Vitebsk||4||1992||1994–95||107||22||27||58||82–181||93||10th (1993–94)|
|32||Kommunalnik Slonim||3||1997||2000||89||15||17||57||66–191||62||11th (1997)|
|33||Stroitel Starye Dorogi||3||1992||1993–94||77||14||18||45||48–117||60||14th (1992, 1992–93)|
|34||Krumkachy Minsk||2||2016||2017||60||14||16||30||50–86||58||11th (2016)|
|35||Transmash Mogilev||1||1997||1997||30||8||4||18||30–52||28||14th (1997)|
|36||Dnyapro Mogilev||1||2019||2019||29||7||6||16||29–42||25||14th (2019)|
|37||Luch Minsk||1||2018||2018||30||4||12||14||24–44||24||13th (2018)|
|39||Savit Mogilev||1||2008||2008||30||5||6||19||28–61||21||15th (2008)|
|40||Svisloch-Krovlya Osipovichi||1||1999||1999||30||4||4||22||24–74||16||15th (1999)|
- For clubs that have been renamed, their name at the time of their most recent season in the Premier League is given. The current members are listed in bold.
- Includes 2002 championship play-off, 2004 relegation play-off, 14 games of Dinamo-93 in 1998 season, and 15 games of Torpedo Minsk in 2019 season.
- For the purposes of this table, each win is worth 3 points. The three-points system was adopted in fall 1995 season.
Player of the yearEdit
Belarusian Premier League Player of the year is an annual award given by a sports newspaper Pressball.
An annual league competition is organized for the reserve teams of Premier League clubs since 2001. This tournament was won by the reserves of Dinamo Minsk (7 titles), Gomel (2 titles), Shakhtyor Soligorsk (2 titles), BATE Borisov (1 title), Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino (1 title) and Dnepr Mogilev (1 title).
- a team of the Belarusian Military District
- a team of the Home of the Red Army (Home of the Red Army is a special organization and used to include sports section preceding the Army Sports Club (SKA))
- "Dinamo, Brest wins gold medals of High League for the first time in history". www.tvr.by. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.