USSR Football Championship

Article

May 25, 2022

The USSR Football Championship is the annual championship among football teams of the Soviet Union. The first regular championship was held in 1936 (before that the championship was played irregularly), the last - in 1991. A total of 54 championships were drawn. Dynamo (Kyiv) won the most championship titles - 13. In different years, teams from all the union republics except the Kyrgyz and Turkmen SSR played in the highest division of Soviet football.

Calendar and structure

Calendar

While in most European championships the season is held according to the "autumn-spring" system, the Soviet championship abandoned this idea. The climatic features of the northern regions of Russia did not allow the holding of top-level football matches in November-December and March, as is practiced in England, Italy or Spain. Usually the USSR championship began in April and ended in November, ie took place within one calendar year. The championship was held annually, except in 1936 and 1976, when two short championships were held - spring and autumn. The championship was also not held during the German occupation of the Soviet Union (1941-1944) - in 1941 the championship began but did not end, and the first postwar championship took place in 1945.

Structure

The form of the tournament changed every few years, and the number of teams in the top division ranged from 7 (in the first championship, spring 1936) to 26 (1938). The championship was played mainly in 2 rounds - each team met with the other twice: at home and away. In 1938, due to the large number of teams, the competition was held in one round, and in the 60's conducted experiments with the division of teams into 2 subgroups, the best teams of which then won the title of champion in the final tournament. 1970 was the time of the final formation of the structure of the major leagues (this is the name of class "A"): it had 16 (or 18) teams - they played a round-robin tournament in 2 rounds (each played a home and away match). The two worst teams dropped to the first league. Instead, the best clubs in the first league next season took the place of those teams that dropped out.

History

Irregular championships of 1922-1935

In the first years after the creation of the Soviet Union, the championship ro