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The Belarusian Premier League, commonly known as the Vysshaya Liga, is the highest football division in Belarus. The division is managed by the Belarusian Football Federation and was founded in 1920. In the first season, there were 17 participating teams. The number of teams competing in the Vysshaya Liga fluctuated throughout the years. The highest point was 17 teams participating in the league and at the lowest 11 teams. From 2016, the number of teams is set at 16, which seems to be the stable number now. The Vysshaya Liga handles a double round-robin structure, meaning that every team will play matches until everyone has played against each other twice.
The Vysshaya Liga gained massive popularity in 2020. The popularity increase was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Except for the Belarusian Premier League, all football competitions on the European mainland were postponed. Football fanatics from all over the world were watching and betting on the league’s fixtures. This resulted in a massive increase of viewers, TV deals and betting opportunities for the Belarusian Premier League.
The below teams performed in the 2021/2022 season of the Belarusian Premier League.
FC Shakhtyor Soligorsk (The Miners)
The Miners are one of the most successful clubs from the Vysshaya Liga. The team has never finished below 6th place between 1999 and 2022. They’ve won the championship three times and were runners-ups six times. The club was founded in 1961, and their stadium is the Stroitel Stadium in Soligorsk. The stadium has a capacity of 4,200 spectators.
FC Arsenal Dzerzhinsk
Arsenal is one of the newest football clubs in Belarus. Being founded in 2019, they participated in the Belarusian Second League and won the title in their debut year. With a capacity of 1,000, their home venue is the City Stadium.
FC BATE Borisov (Yellow-Blues)`
Borisov Automobile and Tractor Electronics: BATE. The club was initially founded in 1973 and was later dissolved in 1984. The club was revived in 1996 and are, to date 2022, the most successful club in the Belarusian Premier League with 15 titles. They also competed in UEFA tournaments, such as the Champions League and Europa League.
FC Belshina Bobruisk
Belshina is located in Bobruisk. The team was founded in 1976. They’ve won one Vysshaya Liga title. Belshina play their home matches in the Spartak Stadium (capacity of 3,700)
FC Dynamo Brest
Brest joined the Belarusian Premier League in 1992 and are still active in the league in 2022. They were never relegated to the Second Division. The best result Dynamo Brest achieved was the league title in 2019. Their home ground is the Regional Sports Complex Brestsky (10,169).
FC Dinamo Minsk
Dinamo Minsk is based in the Belarus capital: Minsk. The club was founded on the 18th of June in 1927. Minsk has won the league multiple times alongside cup victories. Minks is, alongside BATE, the only Belarusian football club to reach the UEFA Europa League group stages. Dinamo plays its home games in the 22,246 capacity Dinamo Stadium in Minsk.
FC Dnepr Mogilev
Football Club Dnepr was founded in 1960. Dnepr plays its home games in the 7,350 capacity Spartak Stadium in Mogilev.
Football Club Gomel
FC Gomel’s venue, Central Stadium (capacity of 14,307), is located in Gomel. The traditional kit colours are green and white. They’ve won the league for the first, and only time, in 2003.
FC Isloch Minsk Raion
The Belarusian football club FC Isloch is based in Minks. The club was founded in 2007 as an amateur club, but managed to promote quickly to the highest football division in Belarus.
FC Neman Grodno
Neman Grodno is named after the Neman River. The club was founded in 1964 and their home ground is the Neman Stadium, located in Grodno. The stadium has a seating capacity of 8,479.
Football Club Minsk was founded in 2006. They play their matches in the FC Minks stadium, located in Belarus. Their primary colours are red and blue.
FC Slavija Mozyr
The club was founded in 1987 under a different name. They were the first team to win the Belarusian Premier League other than Dinamo Minsk.
Athletic Football Club Slutsk was founded in 1998. Their traditional kit and logo colours are blue and white.
FC Torpedo BelAZ Zhodino
FC Torpedo-BelAZ is based in Zhodino and was founded in1961. Their stadium, Torpedo Stadium, has a capacity of 6,525.
Football Club Vitebsk
FC Vitebsk was founded in 1960 as Krasnoye Znamya Vitebsk. they changed club names multiple times. In 2003, they shortened their name to Lokomotiv Vitebsk and in 2006 to FC Vitebsk
FC Energetik-BGU Minsk
The club was founded in 1996. Their home ground is the RCOR-BGU Stadium in Minsk. The capacity is 1,500.