The I Lyga, LFF I Lyga, Pirma Lyga, is the second tier of professional Lithuanian football championship.

LFF I Lyga
I Lyga logo.png
Founded1991
CountryLithuania
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toA Lyga
Relegation toII Lyga
Current championsDžiugas (2019)
TV partnersFutbolo.tv, Init
Websitehttp://www.pirmalyga.lt
2020 LFF I Lyga

FormatEdit

Organized by the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF), I Lyga is contested by 14 teams in 2020 (16 in 2019), with the top team gaining promotion to A Lyga and replaced by the lowest-placed team in top division and the bottom 4 clubs being relegated to the II Lyga. Starting with the 2016 season, the second-placed team qualifies to promotion play-offs with A Lyga's next-to-last team. The final list of participants often does not correlate to the final results of the previous season, as the participation is finalized through the Lithuanian Football Federation league licensing process.

HistoryEdit

There were 15 teams competing in the 2017 season. At the end of this season, three teams withdrew from all competitions.

In 2018, there were 14 teams that started the championship. However, FK Koralas Klaipėda withdrew in the mid-season. After the end of the season, two more teams have withdrawn from participation in the next season.

The 2019 season saw 16 teams starting the championship. In June FC Stumbras ran into financial difficulties, its license was withdrawn from the A Lyga, along with Stumbras B license in the I Lyga. In July Stumbras B was removed from the league, with all results annulled as the team played less than half of all season games. At the end of the season an investigation into match-fixing was launched. As a result, FK Atlantas and FK Palanga were expelled from A Lyga and demoted to II Lyga. An appeal to allow to participate in I Lyga was rejected. As the investigation continued, I Lyga side FC Kupiškis was also found to be involved in match-fixing, and subsequently fined and demoted to II Lyga.

Although the 2019 I Lyga winners FC Džiugas Telšiai won promotion to A lyga, the club failed to meet 2020 A Lyga licensing criteria, and had their promotion forfeited. Only FK Banga Gargždai had advanced to A Lyga after the 2019 season, having won the promotion playoff against the A lyga 7-th placed FK Palanga before its expulsion from the A Lygas.

Current SeasonEdit

The I Lyga suffered withdrawal of FC Stumbras B during the 2019 season, and the expulsion of FC Kupiškis after the end of the season. Only one team, FC Pakruojis was relegated, and replaced with three teams from II Lyga. No teams were relegated from the A Lyga, and only one team FK Banga Gargždai was promoted from I Lyga. At the end of licensing process the final team count stood at 14.

2020 I Lyga Participants
Team Town Stadium Capacity
FK Atmosfera (2012) Mažeikiai Mažeikių miesto stadionas 2,500
Baltijos Futbolo Akademija Vilnius Fabijoniškių stadionas 340
DFK Dainava Alytus Alytaus miesto stadionas 4,000
FC Džiugas Telšiai Telšių miesto centrinis stadionas 3,000
FC Hegelmann Litauen Kaunas NFA stadionas 1,000
FK Jonava Jonava Jonavos miesto stadionas 1,400
Kauno Žalgiris B Kaunas SM Tauras Stadium 500
FK Minija (2017) Kretinga Kretingos miesto stadionas 1,000
FK Nevėžis Kėdainiai Kėdainių miesto centrinis stadionas 3,000
Panevėžys B Panevėžys Aukštaitija Stadium 6,600
Riteriai B Vilnius LFF Stadium 5,400
Sūduva B Marijampolė ARVI Football Arena 6,250
FA Šiauliai Šiauliai Savivaldybės stadionas 9,125
Vilniaus Vytis Vilnius LFF Stadium 5,400
Žalgiris B Vilnius LFF Stadium 5,400

Promotion/relegation play-offEdit

For the last several years, the second-placed team contested with A Lyga's next-to-last team in a play-off for a spot in A Lyga.

Since 2020 season saw A Lyga reduced to 6 teams, the LFF announced that 4 teams will gain promotion from I Lyga this season. The play-off match was not mentioned.[1]

Past SeasonsEdit

Season Champion Topscorer Goals
1990 Panerys Vilnius
1991 Žalgiris-2 Vilnius
1991–92 Žalgiris-2 Vilnius
1992–93 Azotas Jonava
1993–94 Mūša Ukmergė
1994–95 Geležinis Vilkas Vilnius Igoris Verbovikas (Lokomotyvas Vilnius) 13
1995–96 Ranga-Politechnika Kaunas Svajūnas Česnulis (Laisvė Šilutė) 19
1996–97 Klevas Šiauliai Svajūnas Česnulis (Laisvė Šilutė) 23
1997–98 Dainava Alytus Jevgenijus Medvedevas (Lietava Jonava 17
1998–99 Lietava Jonava Marijus Kursevičius (Atletas Kaunas) 20
1999 Kauno Jėgeriai Ruslanas Kirsanovas (Geležinis Vilkas Vilnius) 15
2000 Vėtra Rūdiškės Šarūnas Litvinas (Pieno Cechas Kalvarija) 32
2001 Polonija Vilnius Tomas Radzinevičius (Sūduva Marijampolė) 33
2002 Vėtra Rūdiškės Denisas Vasilkovas (Interas Visaginas, Vėtra Rūdiškės) 27
2003 Polonija Vilnius Vytautas Zaboras (Polonija Vilnius) 27
2004 KFK Šiauliai Gvidas Juška (Babrungas Plungė, Kauno Jėgeriai) 21
2005 Alytis Alytus Kęstutis Nepas (Vėtra-2 Vilnius, Alytis Alytus) 22
2006 Kauno Jėgeriai Ramūnas Timinskas (Kruoja Pakruojis) 22
2007 Alytis Alytus Rimantas Cepovas (Rodiklis Kaunas) 25
2008 Tauras Tauragė Martynas Karalius (Glestum Klaipėda) 19
2009 Šilutė Gvidas Juška (Šilutė) 21
2010 FBK Kaunas Arsenijus Buinickis (Lietava Jonava) 28
2011 REO Vilnius Aivaras Lyberis (Nevėžis Kėdainiai) 24
2012 Lietava Jonava Aivaras Lyberis (Nevėžis Kėdainiai) 24
2013 Klaipėdos Granitas Aivaras Lyberis (Nevėžis Kėdainiai)
Edgaras Mastianica (Klaipėdos Granitas)
18
2014 Stumbras Kaunas Artūras Rimkevičius (Stumbras Kaunas) 26
2015 Lietava Jonava Laurynas Stonkus (Lietava Jonava) 30
2016 Šilas Kazlų Rūda Artur Skuratovič (Vilniaus Vytis) 31
2017 Palanga Gvidas Juška (Palanga) 31
2018 Panevėžys Evaldas Kugys (Nevėžis Kėdainiai) 20
2019 FC Džiugas Telšiai Evaldas Kugys (Nevėžis Kėdainiai), Jose Luis Balanta (DFK Dainava) 19

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Vykdomojo komiteto posėdžio metu patvirtintas I ir A lygų komandų skaičius". LFF. 6 February 2020. Retrieved 1 March 2020.

External linksEdit