The Italian football league system is a series of interconnected leagues and national tournaments, set up by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), for football clubs in Italy with one club hailing from San Marino.
The first leagues were started by English emigrants in the 1890s in Italy. The first club was Genoa Cricket and Athletic Club (now Genoa Cricket & Football Club). Initially there were separate leagues for Italians and foreigners, they merged around 1897. In March 1898, the Italian Football Federation (Federazione Italiana del Football, later re-called Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio, FIGC) was set up in Turin. With four clubs joining - Genoa, FC Torinese, Internazionale di Torino and the Società Ginnastica di Torino (Gymnastic Society of Torino). Other clubs existed but decided not to join. The first league took place on a single day, May 8, 1898 in Torino. The title was won by Genoa.
Genoa were the initial force in Italian football. They won the championship in 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, and 1904. Milan CFBC and Juventus FBC joined the league during 1899-1900 season.
After the interruption of World War I, football popularity grew and more and smaller clubs joined. In the summer of 1921, a second association was briefly created in competition with the FIGC: the Confederazione Calcistica Italiana (CCI), emerged from an argument between major and minor clubs over the structure of the national leagues. Hence in 1922 Italy had two champions US Pro Vercelli and US Novese. The two groups eventually re-merged at the end of the season.
The move to a single national league structure occurred in 1929 with initially eighteen teams in the top league. The first winners in 1930 were Internazionale. The national team also won the World Cup in 1934 and 1938.
After World War II the league returned to a regional structure with a north-south divide and a play-off for a single year before returning to a national league. Torino were the first post-war league champions and went on to win four in a row. However, it is Juventus, A.C. Milan and Internazionale that have dominated the league since World War II, having won the title in 47 of the 64 seasons.
The current league system dates back to 1978, when semi-professional sector was disbanded. In that year, the actual Lega Pro (at that age known as National Semiprofessional League) which ruled Serie C and Serie D, turned in a fully professional league organizing new Serie C1 and Serie C2. Italy so became the only country having two distinct professional football leagues, 14 years before England.
At the top is the Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie A ('National League of Professionals Serie A', often referred to as 'Lega Serie A'), which runs the Serie A and the Lega Nazionale Professionisti Serie B ('National League of Professionals Serie B', often referred to as 'Lega Serie B'), which runs the Serie B.
Below that is the Lega Italiana Calcio Professionistico ('Italian League Professional Football', often referred to as 'Lega Pro'), which rules First Division (with two parallel divisions) and Second Division (with two parallel divisions since 2011, previously three).
Then there is the simply named Serie D, a league of nine parallel divisions (in which the clubs are divided by geographical location) that is organised by the Comitato Interregionale ('Interregional Committee') of the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti ('National Amateur League'). Under them there are five more levels: four of them, Eccellenza, Promozione, Prima Categoria and Seconda Categoria, are organized by regional committees of the Lega Nazionale Dilettanti, the last one, Terza Categoria, by provincial committees.
|1||Lega Serie A|
|2||Lega Serie B|
|3|| Lega Pro|
Prima Divisione Girone A
| Lega Pro|
Prima Divisione Girone B
Seconda Divisione Girone A
Seconda Divisione Girone B
(28 regional divisions, 476 clubs)
(54 regional divisions, 893 clubs)
(106 regional divisions, 1.668 clubs)
(182 regional divisions)
(209 provincial divisions)
- League system
- List of football competitions
- Serie A
- Serie B
- Serie C1
- Serie C2
- Serie D
- Prima Categoria
- Seconda Categoria
- Terza Categoria
- Campionato Primavera
- Campionato Berretti
- Coppa Italia
- Supercoppa Italiana
- Coppa Italia Serie C
- Supercoppa di Lega Serie C1
- Supercoppa di Lega Serie C2
- Coppa Italia Serie D
- Coppa Italia Dilettanti
- Coppa Italia Primavera
- Supercoppa Primavera
- Torneo di Viareggio
- List of football clubs in Italy
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Italian Football Leagues. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with UK Football Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|