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Swiss Football League

Published on: 03/12/2016

A total of seven leagues from various different associations make up the Swiss Football League system. The top tier is known as the Swiss Super League or the Raiffeisen Super League (for sponsorship reasons). The league system also includes clubs from neighbouring countries Germany, Italy and Liechtenstein.

The Swiss Super League comprises of 10 teams and runs from July through to May, with the bottom team being relegated and replaced by the top team from the second-tier Challenge League. The league has regularly ranked between 10 and 20 in the UEFA rankings based on club performances in European competition over a five year period.

Football in Switzerland first appeared toward the end of the 19th century, with the first football association being formed in 1895 (Schweizerischer Fussballverband/Association Suisse de Football). As a result, a league competition was held in 1897 and was originally known as Serie A. Seven years later, Switzerland became a founding member of FIFA.

In 1926, a Swiss Cup (Schweizer Cup) had been inaugurated with the first edition being won by Grasshopper Club Zürich who beat FC Bern 2-1. The Grasshopper Club went on to become the most successful club in Swiss football history.

By 1931, the league had been reformed as the National League with the number of participants varying between 12 and 18. By 1944, the name had been changed again to Nationalliga A. Football continued during World War II and in 1954, the country became a founding member of UEFA. In 1959, BSC Young Boys of Berne made it to the semi-finals of the European Cup.

The league was known as Nationalliga A until 2003 when the league name would therafter become influenced by the relevant sponsors. The first sponsor (Axpo) backed the league until 2012 when the Swiss cooperative bank Raiffeisen took over.

The Swiss League remains a financially-independent organisation that promotes football from grassroots to elite level.

Top performers over the years have included FC Basel, FC Zurich and FC Sion. In recent years, FC Basel have proved to be the team to beat in the Swiss top flight. The following clubs have all won at least one title in Switzerland: Grasshopper Club Zürich, FC Basel, FC Zürich, Servette FC, BSC Young Boys, FC Lausanne-Sport, FC La Chaux-de-Fonds, FC Lugano, FC Sion, Neuchâtel Xamax, AC Bellinzona, FC Aarau, FC Biel-Bienne, FC Luzern, and FC St. Gallen.

Published on: 03/12/2016 © Bet Bind