Latvia was part of the Russian Empire until 1918 and the the first winners of the Rīga Football League in 1910 were RV Union Rīga, British FC Rīga having been disqualified. Shortly after independence, the first winners of the Latvian Championship in 1992 were SV Kaiserwald Riga. Following the Soviet occupation from 1944 the Latvian Leagues participated at the regional level within the USSR league system.
The Latvian championship was re-introduced in 1991 following the country's re-independence. It is now known as the Latvian Higher League (Virslīga) and is organised by the Latvian Football Federation. In 2013 there are 10 teams competing in the top tier. The most successful club since 1992 has been Skonto FC followed by FK Ventspils.
The Latvian First League (1. līga) is the second tier of football in Latvia and currently has 14 clubs. Below is the Latvian Second League (2. līga) with 50 clubs. This third tier is divided into the 7 regions comprising Rīga, Kurzeme, Vidzeme, Latgale, Zemgale, Ziemeļaustrumi and Daugavpils.
There is promotion and relegation between the different levels and the three tiers are administered by the Latvian Football Federation.
The Latvian Football Cup (Latvijas kauss) is the main knock-out cup competition in Latvian football. It started in 1937 and during the USSR years up to 1991 it served as a qualification tournament for the Soviet Cup.
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