The Latvian league or Virslīga is a professional football league and the top tier of Latvian club football. Organized by the Latvian Football Association Higher League is contested by 9 clubs. The full name of the league has been Optibet Virslīga since 2019 for sponsorship reasons.
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The first nationwide championship was organized in 1927. Between 1945 and 1991, the Soviet championship in Latvia was part of the country's sports calendar. With the restoration of Latvia's independence in August 1991, the newly formed Latvian Football Federation (Latvijas Futbola Federācija - LFF) decided to reorganize its competitions within the Virslīga from 1992 onwards. In the same year, Latvia became a member of UEFA. After the 2007 season, the league rose from eight to ten teams. In 2008, each side played the other four times.
At the end of the season, the team with the lowest seats automatically descends to the first league and the winner of the first league automatically takes his place. The second lowest team in Virslīga and the second lowest team of the first league contest the following season two games for a place in the Virslīga. The winner of Virsliga, the Latvian champion, plays in the qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The second and third placed clubs play in the qualifiers for the UEFA Europa League.
A winter off-season league cup, the Virslīga Winter Cup, was held in January each year from 2013 to 2017 and replaced by the Virslīga Cup (Latvian: Virslīgas kausa izcīņa) next year.
From 2015 to 2018, there were eight participating clubs, but in 2019, nine clubs participated. Since 2020, the season league to be increased to ten clubs.
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