Record-size Estonian Premier League kicks off

  • 2005-03-09
  • By TBT staff
TALLINN - A record 150 teams in six divisions will take part in this year's Estonian soccer season, which formally kicked off on March 6.

About 10 new sides on average have been added to the championship list in each of the past 10 seasons. In comparison with the 1994/95 season, when just 47 men's teams and five women's teams took part in the national championship, the number of teams has increased more than threefold.

Both the Premier League and first divisions have expanded from eight to 10 teams this year and the third, fourth and fifth divisions have expanded from 10 teams to 12. However, the second division remains unchanged with eight teams.

In the Premier league each team will play at least 36 matches during the season and 180 games will be played in total.

FC Flora will be expected to go all out to reclaim its grip on the Premiership after FC Levadia won it last year. Flora has almost as great a monopoly on the title as the Latvian side FK Skonto. However, Flora could only manage a 0-0 draw with Tartu-based side Merkuur, and Levadia got off to an even worse start, losing 3-1 to Trans, another team which should be in contention for the title this year. All the first-day results were as follows:

JK Trans - FC Levadia

3 - 1

FC TVMK - FC Valga

5 - 0

FC Flora - JK Merkuur

0 - 0

JK Tulevik - FC Kuressaare

1 - 0

JK Tammeka - JK Dunamo

9 - 0