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Copa Simón Bolívar

The old 2nd tier in the Bolivian Football pyramid consists of 9 regional leagues (one for each department), the number of participants varies depending on the department, It usually has between 8 and 12 teams. Both winner and runner-up of each league compete in the Copa Simón Bolívar, with the winner of such tournament gaining promotion to the 1st Division, and the runner-up playing a play-off match with the 11th placed team in the 1st Division. Until 1976 all 8 regional championships (Pando didn't have an organized tournament back then) were the top in the national football pyramid, with the winner of the Copa Simón Bolívar being crowned as national champion. In 2011, and for five seasons, the Copa Simón Bolívar was replaced by the Liga Nacional B, until 2016 when it was reinstated as Bolivia's second tier football championship.

Copa Simón Bolívar
Founded1957
1958–1976 (as Division One)
1989–2010 and 2016– (as Division Two)
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toBolivian Primera División
Relegation toBolivian Football Regional Leagues
Current championsAlways Ready (1st title)
(2018)
Most championshipsEnrique Happ (3 times)
WebsiteSite Official
2019 Copa Simón Bolívar

The oldest regional championship is the one played in La Paz, it started in 1914 and it was considered for many years as the top Bolivian league, even more when it turned into a semi-pro tournament in 1950 and started including teams from Oruro and Cochabamba.

Copa Simón BolívarEdit

The tournament started in 1960, initially only champions from La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro and Santa Cruz participated, on later years teams from other associations started joining the cup, and the tournament eventually had also runner-up's participating.

Until 1976, due the lack of a nationwide league, the cup determined the national champion and representative teams for the Copa Libertadores. With the creation of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional Boliviano, the Bolivian FA stopped organizing the tournament.

Finally in 1989 the tournament was resurrected, with the same format of having both champions and runner-up from each association, but this time each regional league was the 2nd tier on the football pyramid so the champion was supposed to be awarded a place in the professional league. Previously the last placed team in the 1st division was replaced by the regional champion of its departament. However that practice was kept until 1993 when finally the champion was awarded a spot in the top league.

The competition format changes frequently, in 2008, the team were divided in 3 groups of 6 teams each, to save costs, geographically close teams were teamed up and played on a home-away round-robin basis, with group 1 consisting of teams from La Paz, Oruro and Cochabamba; group 2 with teams from Potosí, Chuquisaca and Tarija, and group 3 with teams from Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando. The top 2 placed teams advanced to the next round, now playing play-offs on home-away basis, the 3 winners and the best loser advanced to the semifinals and then the final.

List of ChampionsEdit

Torneo NacionalEdit

As First Division Tournament

Season Champion (title count) Runner-up Third Place
1958 Jorge Wilstermann (1) Deportivo Municipal San José
1959 Jorge Wilstermann (2) Always Ready Bolívar

Copa Simón BolívarEdit

As First Division Tournament

Season Champion (title count) Runner-up Third Place
1960 Jorge Wilstermann (3) Aurora Deportivo Chaco
1961 Deportivo Municipal (1) Aurora Deportivo Chaco
1962 Deportivo Chaco (1) The Strongest Deportivo Municipal
1963 Aurora (1) Deportivo Municipal
1964 The Strongest (1) Aurora
1965 Deportivo Municipal (2) Jorge Wilstermann Oriente Petrolero
1966 Bolívar (1) 31 de Octubre Jorge Wilstermann
1967 Jorge Wilstermann (4) Always Ready Blooming
1968 Bolívar (2) Guabirá Litoral
1969 Universitario (La Paz) (1) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
1970 Chaco Petrolero (1) The Strongest
1971 Oriente Petrolero Chaco Petrolero The Strongest
1972 Jorge Wilstermann (5) Oriente Petrolero Petrolero Cochabamba
1973 Jorge Wilstermann (6) Deportivo Municipal 31 de Octubre
1974 The Strongest (2) Jorge Wilstermann
1975 Guabirá (1) Bolívar Oriente Petrolero
1976 Bolívar (3) Oriente Petrolero Guabirá

As Second Division Tournament

Season Champion (title count) Runner-up Third Place
1989 Enrique Happ (1) Universidad de Santa Cruz
1990 Universidad de Santa Cruz (1) Naval Mamoré
1991 Enrique Happ (2) Guabirá
1992 Enrique Happ (3) Universidad Católica
1993 Real Santa Cruz (1) Estudiantes Frontanilla
1994 Stormers (1) Always Ready
1995 Deportivo Municipal (1) Chaco Petrolero
1996 Blooming (1) Universidad de Santa Cruz
1997 Real Potosí (1) Universitario (Cochabamba)
1998 Union Central (1) Atlético Pompeya Aurora
Ciclón
1999 Atlético Pompeya (1) Mariscal Braun Litoral
Universitario (Beni)
2000 Iberoamericana (1) Aurora Cooper
Guarani
2001 San José (1) Primero de Mayo Ingenieros
Litoral
2002 Aurora (1) Fancesa Deportivo Zuraca
Primero de Mayo
2003 La Paz (1) Real Santa Cruz Universitario (Beni)
Universitario (Tarija)
2004 Destroyers (1) Primero de Mayo ABB
Esparta
2005 Universitario (1) Guabirá ABB
Universidad de Santa Cruz
2006 Municipal Real Mamoré (1) Ciclón Guabirá
2007 Guabirá (1) Nacional Potosí Fancesa
Mariscal Braun
2008 Nacional Potosí (1) Primero de Mayo Ciclón
Destroyers
2009 Guabirá (1) Ciclón Fraternidad Tigres
Stormers
2010 Nacional Potosí (2) Real América García Agreda
Primero de Mayo
2016–17 Aurora (2) Destroyers Real América
Ramiro Castillo
2017 Royal Pari (1) Deportivo Kala Atlético Bermejo
Quebracho
2018 Always Ready (1) Avilés Industrial Independiente Petrolero
Mariscal Sucre
  • Note that:

NB: Enrique Happ (full name Escuela Enrique Happ) from Cochabamba were never promoted to the first division in spite of winning the cup three time, apparently because they are a special footballing school (like the better known Academia Tahuichi in Santa Cruz).

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit