Uruguay

UruguayThe Uruguayan Primera División [ˈliɣa pɾofesjoˈnal de pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon] (English: First Division Professional League) also known as the “Primera División Uruguaya” (local: [pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon uɾuˈɣwaʒa]) or “Primera División de Uruguay” ([pɾiˈmeɾa ðiβiˈsjon de uɾuˈɣwaj]) (English: Uruguayan First Division) is organized by the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF).

The First Championship of Uruguayan Primera Division was held in 1900, being an amateur competition until 1932 when the league became professional. From 1900 to the 2014-15 season they were carried out 111 first division seasons.

The Uruguayan Primera División, called “Torneo Uruguayo Copa Coca-Cola” for sponsorship reasons, is regarded as the 23rd most difficult football league in the 21st century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

Format

After 1994, the competition was divided in two stages, called the Opening Championship (Torneo Apertura) and Closing Championship (Torneo Clausura), with an end-of-season two-legged final match between the winners of these two tournaments.

In the 2005/06 season, the winners of the Apertura and Clausura tournaments played a two (or three) legged playoff; the winner of that playoff played against the best team in the aggregate table to decide the 2005/06 season champion.

In the 2006/07 season, the competition was reduced to 16 clubs.

 

Season

Originally, like other South American football leagues, the league was contested according to the calendar year, from austral summer to summer in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2005, the league started to play the “European season”, from boreal summer to summer in Northern Hemisphere starting in August, with the aim of preventing clubs from losing many players in the middle of the season. In the first semester of 2005, a special tournament was held to decide the qualification to international competition.

The season of 2008/09 was intended to be the last one to be played in “European season”, as the system appeared to be unable to prevent clubs from losing players between the Apertura (opening) tournament and the Clausura (closing). As of 2010 the European calendar style remains, but before the beginning of each season there have been talks to change it back to a year calendar, so far without result.