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.[1]

Belarusian Premier League
Belarus Premier League logo.png
Founded1992 (28 years ago) (1992)
CountryBelarus
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams16
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toBelarusian First League
Domestic cup(s)Belarusian Cup
Belarusian Super Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsDynamo Brest (1st title)
(2019)
Most championshipsBATE Borisov (15 titles)
TV partnersBelarus 5
Websitehttps://abff.by/en/
2020 Belarusian Premier League

HistoryEdit

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.[2] 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.[3][4]

Premier League in 2020Edit

Team Location Venue Capacity Position in 2019
BATE Borisov Borisov Arena 12,896 2nd
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
Energetik-BGU Minsk RCOP-BGU Stadium 1,500 12th
Gorodeya Gorodeya Gorodeya Stadium 1,625 7th
Isloch Minsk Raion FC Minsk Stadium 3,000 5th
Minsk Minsk FC Minsk Stadium 3,000 10th
Neman Grodno Neman Stadium 8,500 9th
Rukh Brest Yunost Stadium 2,310 3rd (First League)
Shakhtyor Soligorsk Stroitel Stadium 4,200 3rd
Slavia Mozyr Yunost Stadium 5,300 8th
Slutsk Slutsk City Stadium 1,896 11th
Smolevichi Smolevichi Ozyorny Stadium 1,600 2nd (First League)
Torpedo-BelAZ Zhodino Torpedo Stadium 3,020 6th
Vitebsk Vitebsk Vitebsky CSK 8,100 13th

Soviet era championsEdit

Champions and top scorersEdit

Season Champion Runner-up Third place Top scorer
1992
Dinamo Minsk Dnepr Mogilev Dinamo Brest   Andrey Skorobogatko (Dnepr Mogilev) (11)
1992–93
Dinamo Minsk KIM Vitebsk Belarus Minsk   Sergey Baranovsky (Dinamo Minsk) (19)
  Miroslav Romaschenko (Vedrich Rechitsa / Dnepr Mogilev) (19)
1993–94
Dinamo Minsk Dinamo-93 Minsk KIM Vitebsk   Pyotr Kachuro (Dinamo-93 Minsk / Dinamo Minsk) (21)
1994–95
Dinamo Minsk Dvina Vitebsk Dinamo-93 Minsk   Pavel Shavrov (Dinamo-93 Minsk) (19)
1995
Dinamo Minsk MPKC Mozyr Dinamo-93 Minsk   Sergey Yaromko (MPKC Mozyr) (16)
1996
MPKC Mozyr Dinamo Minsk Belshina Bobruisk   Andrey Khlebasolaw (Belshina Bobruisk) (34)
1997
Dinamo Minsk Belshina Bobruisk Lokomotiv-96 Vitebsk   Andrey Khlebasolaw (Belshina Bobruisk) (19)
1998
Dnepr-Transmash Mogilev BATE Borisov Belshina Bobruisk   Sergey Yaromko (Torpedo Minsk) (19)
1999
BATE Borisov Slavia Mozyr Gomel   Valery Strypeykis (Slavia Mozyr) (21)
2000
Slavia Mozyr BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk   Raman Vasilyuk (Slavia Mozyr) (31)
2001
Belshina Bobruisk Dinamo Minsk BATE Borisov   Sergei Davydov (Neman-Belcard Grodno) (25)
2002
BATE Borisov Neman Grodno Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Valery Strypeykis (Belshina Bobruisk) (18)
2003
Gomel BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk   Gennadi Bliznyuk (Gomel) (18)
  Sergei Kornilenko (Dinamo Minsk) (18)
2004
Dinamo Minsk BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Valery Strypeykis (Naftan Novopolotsk) (18)
2005
Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk MTZ-RIPO Minsk   Valery Strypeykis (Naftan Novopolotsk) (16)
2006
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Alyaksandr Klimenka (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (17)
2007
BATE Borisov Gomel Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Raman Vasilyuk (Gomel) (24)
2008
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk MTZ-RIPO Minsk   Gennadi Bliznyuk (BATE Borisov) (16)
  Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov) (16)
2009
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Dnepr Mogilev   Maycon (Gomel) (15)
2010
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Minsk   Renan Bressan (BATE Borisov) (15)
2011
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Gomel   Renan Bressan (BATE Borisov) (13)
2012
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk   Dzmitry Asipenka (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (14)
2013
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk   Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov) (14)
2014
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Mikalay Yanush (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (15)
2015
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Mikalay Yanush (Shakhtyor Soligorsk) (15)
2016
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk   Vitali Rodionov (BATE Borisov) (16)
  Mikhail Gordeichuk (BATE Borisov) (16)
2017
BATE Borisov Dinamo Minsk Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Mikhail Gordeichuk (BATE Borisov) (18)
2018
BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk Dinamo Minsk   Pavel Savitski (Dinamo Brest) (15)
2019
Dynamo Brest BATE Borisov Shakhtyor Soligorsk   Ilya Shkurin (Energetik-BGU Minsk) (19)

PerformancesEdit

Performance by clubEdit

Teams Champion Runner-up Third place
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)
Minsk 1 (2010)

All-time tableEdit

As of end of 2019 season.
Rank Club1 Seasons Debut Last
Season
Pld2 W D L Goals Points3 Best Result
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)
8 Gomel 24 1992 2019 652 251 144 257 808–821 897 1st (2003)
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)
14 Minsk 12 2007 357 123 90 143 424–431 460 3rd (2010)
15 Dinamo-93 Minsk 7 1992–93 1998 181 99 43 39 296–157 340 2nd (1993–94)
16 Molodechno-2000 12 1992 2003 323 80 80 163 339–490 320 4th (1994–95)
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)
19 Slutsk 6 2014 177 54 44 79 156–214 206 7th (2017)
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)
22 Bobruisk 5 1992 1995 122 44 34 44 119–145 166 4th (1992)
23 Lida 7 1992 2000 182 38 46 98 144–289 160 8th (1994–95)
24 Isloch Minsk Raion 4 2016 119 41 29 49 119–158 152 5th (2019)
25 Gorodeya 4 2016 119 36 43 40 132–136 151 7th (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)
31 Smorgon 3 2007 2009 82 18 26 38 58–114 80 8th (2008)
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)
38 Smolevichi 1 2018 30 5 9 16 21–39 24 15th (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)
41 Rukh Brest 0 2020 0 0 0 0 0–0 0 TBD
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Season Player Club
1992
  Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1992–93
  Sergey Gotsmanov Dinamo Minsk
1993–94
  Yury Shukanov Dinamo Minsk
1994–95
  Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1995
  Valyantsin Byalkevich Dinamo Minsk
1996
  Alyaksandr Kulchy MPKC Mozyr
1997
  Andrei Lavrik Dinamo Minsk
1998
  Aleh Konanaw Torpedo Minsk
1999
  Dmitri Karsakov Slavia Mozyr
2000
  Aleksandr Lisovsky BATE Borisov
2001
  Vitali Kutuzov BATE Borisov
2002
  Dzmitry Likhtarovich BATE Borisov
2003
  Timofei Kalachev Shakhtyor Soligorsk
2004
  Andrey Razin Dinamo Minsk
2005
  Vital Valadzyankow Dinamo Minsk
2006
  Oleg Strakhanovich MTZ-RIPO Minsk
2007
  Raman Vasilyuk Gomel
2008
  Vitali Rodionov BATE Borisov
2009
  Sergey Krivets BATE Borisov
2010
  Renan Bressan BATE Borisov
2011
  Renan Bressan BATE Borisov
2012
  Stanislaw Drahun Dinamo Minsk
2013
  Alexander Hleb BATE Borisov
2014
  Ihar Stasevich Dinamo Minsk
2015
  Ihar Stasevich BATE Borisov
2016
  Ihar Stasevich BATE Borisov
2017
  Mikhail Gordeichuk BATE Borisov
2018
  Ihar Stasevich BATE Borisov
2019
  Ihar Stasevich BATE Borisov

Reserves LeagueEdit

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).

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a team of the Belarusian Military District
  2. ^ 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))

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dinamo, Brest wins gold medals of High League for the first time in history". www.tvr.by. 25 November 2019. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  2. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/sports/soccer/soccer-belarus-coronavirus.html/
  3. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/amp/football/52084121/
  4. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/mar/29/belarus-football-continues-coronavirus-premier-league/

External linksEdit