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Belarus premier league
The Belarussian Premier League or the Vysheyshaya League (Belarusian: Вышэйшая ліга, Russian: Высшая лига, "Top League") is the highest division of professional football in Belarus and is organized by the Belarusian Football Association. The number of teams in the competition varied over the years from 17 (1992-1993 season) to 11 (2012). As of 2017, the league comprises 16 teams. Each team plays against every other team twice during the season. At the end of the season, two teams will be relegated to the Belarusian Premier League, and two will be promoted from the First League to replace them.
BATE Borisov is with 14 titles the current champion and the most successful team.
The Belarussian Premier League was organized in 1992. The first participants were: Dinamo Minsk, the only Belarusian team in the former Soviet Top League, five teams from the lower ranks of the Soviet league system and ten teams that were previously competitors in the Belarusian League SSR First League.
After the formation of the League, it was decided to change the schedule from a Soviet summer season to a European winter season. To make the transition, the first season has been shortened. It consisted of a single round robin tournament between 16 teams and ended in midsummer. Due to the shortened playing time no team was relegated from the Premier League and promoted only one from the First League. The 1992/93 season had 17 teams, but was reduced to 16 teams for the following season. In 1995, the winter season experiment turned out to be unsuccessful, with poor weather and field conditions prevailing in Belarus in late autumn and early spring. The season was changed back to summer, and the championship in 1995 was again held as a single round tournament. Every season since 1996 has been played in summer.In the 2000s, the number of participating teams has changed several times. In 2001, the league was reduced to 14 teams, in 2003, however, expanded to 16 teams. After two teams had retired before the start of the season in 2005, the league was again reduced to 14 clubs, but in 2003 expanded again to 16 teams in 2008. In the same year, the decision was made to gradually reduce the number of teams, starting with 14 Teams in 2009 and 12 from 2010. The 2012 season was played with just 11 teams as Partizan Minsk dropped out at the last minute.
In the early years, the league was dominated by Dinamo Minsk, who won the league five times in a row between 1992 and 1995. Over the next ten seasons, seven different teams have been champions: Slavia Mozyr (1996 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 dominated the league, winning 12 consecutive championships (2006-2017) and becoming the first Belarusian team to reach the group stages of the UEFA Champions League (2008) and the UEFA Europa League (2009) Have repeatedly achieved).
The two lowest teams of the 2018 season (Smolevichi and Dnepr Mogilev) left in 2019 in the Belarusian First League. They were replaced by Slavia Mozyr and Energetik-BGU, champions and runners-up of the first Belarussian League in 2018.
In spring 2019 Lutsch Minsk merged with Dnepr Mogilev. The club was named Dnyapro Mogilev. It inherited Lynch Premier League slot and license, their sponsorship and most of the squad, while it retained only a few Dnepr players and moved to Mogilev. Dnepr continued to participate independently of Luch in youth tournaments.
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