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I liga polska
I liga polska
Country Flag of Poland Poland
Confederation UEFA
Founded 30 May 1948
1949–2008 (as II liga)
2008– (as I liga)
Number of teams 18
Promotion to Ekstraklasa
Relegation to II liga
Levels on pyramid 2
Domestic cup(s) Polish Cup
Polish SuperCup
UEFA cup(s) Europa League (via Polish Cup)
Current champions Radomiak Radom (2nd title) (2020–21)
TV Polsat Group (Polsat Sport)
Website Official website
Football current event 2021–22

I liga (Pierwsza liga, ˈpjɛrfʂa ˈliɡa) is the second level of the Polish association football league, below the Ekstraklasa and above the II liga. Run by the Polish Football Association (PZPN) since its inception on 30 May 1948, all teams from 2002 onwards must have a licence, issued by the Association. The league was renamed from Second League to First League in 2008.

Before 1939, there were several plans to create a second, national level of Polish football system, but all failed. Instead, there were regional leagues of most Polish provinces, the so-called A Classes.


State Class in Austrian Galicia[]

In 1913 and 1914, the football championship of Austrian Galicia took place. At that time it was called the A Class Championship, with four top teams of the province (Cracovia, Wisła Kraków, Pogon Lwow and Czarni Lwów). Since there were many more football teams in Galicia, the B Class Championship was made for them. Also, in 1921, already in the Second Polish Republic, there were two levels: winners of regional A Classes played in the national championship, while winners of the B Classes (Cracovia II, Pogon Lwow II, AZS Warszawa and Union Łódź) had their own tournament. For financial reasons, this idea was abandoned after one year.

Second Polish Republic[]

In the Second Polish Republic, there were regional leagues, or A Classes, which were the second level of Polish football system, behind the Ekstraklasa, which was formed in 1927, see Lower Level Football Leagues in Interwar Poland. Since in the late 1930s only two teams were promoted to the Ekstraklasa, and there were as many as fourteen regional champions, there was a complicated system of playoffs. Firstly, winners of neighbouring A Classes played each other, and in the final stage, four teams competed, with two top sides winning the promotion.


Second level league was first created for the 1949 season, and was split into northern and southern sections, each comprising 10 teams. First plans to create this league appeared in 1947. On February 14 and 14, 1948, a meeting of officials of Polish Football Association took place in Warsaw. Officials from Gdańsk promoted the creation of the league, but this idea was opposed by the delegates from the most powerful regions of Polish football: Krakow, Lodz, Upper Silesia and Warsaw. On May 30, 1948, however, the second division was officially approved, with 18 teams in one group. On February 18, 1949, Polish Football Association decided to expand the league to 20 teams, divided into northern and southern groups.

First games of the new, second division, took place on March 20, 1949, with the first goal scored by Jozef Kokot of Naprzod Lipiny, in a game between Naprzod and Blekitni Kielce. First winners of the second division were Garbarnia Krakow (northern group) and Gornik Radlin (southern group): both sides were promoted to the Ekstraklasa. To determine a winner of the 1949 season of the second division, Gornik had to play Garbarnia in three extra games (4:2, 0:2 and 4:3). The top scorer of the first season was Mieczyslaw Nowak of Garbarnia, with 24 goals. Relegated were the teams of Ognisko Siedlce and PTC Pabianice (northern group), and Blekitni Kielce and Pafawag Wroclaw (southern group).


For the 1951 season the format was changed to four groups, with eight teams in each group.

1970s - 2008[]

For the 1973–74 season the 2nd level was changed to comprise two sections, split into north and south.

For the 1989–90 season the league reverted to a single group.

In 2000 the number of teams was limited to 20 sides, then to 18. Champions and vice-champions received automatic promotion, while third place teams competed in playoffs. The bottom four teams were relegated.

New name[]

From the 2008–09 season, the league was renamed as I liga. The number of teams competing remained at 18. Teams which place 15-18 were automatically relegated to II liga (West or East). The first and second placed teams were promoted to the Ekstraklasa. In 2014 II liga merged into one group and these rules were changed – the three worst-ranked teams are relegated, and the 15th I liga club compete in playoffs with the fourth placed II liga team.

2021–22 Clubs[]

Team Location Venue Capacity
Arka Gdynia Gdynia Stadion Miejski 15,139
Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza Nieciecza Stadion Bruk-Bet Termaliki 4,666
Chrobry Głogów Głogów Stadion Miejski 2,817
GKS Bełchatów Bełchatów GIEKSA Arena 5,264
GKS Jastrzębie Jastrzębie-Zdrój Stadion Miejski 5,650
GKS Tychy Tychy Stadion Miejski 15,150
Górnik Łęczna Łęczna Stadion Górnika 7,456
Korona Kielce Kielce Suzuki Arena 15,550
ŁKS Łódź Łódź Stadion ŁKS 5,700
Miedź Legnica Legnica Stadion Miejski 6,864
Odra Opole Opole Stadion Miejski 4,560
Puszcza Niepołomice Niepołomice Stadion Miejski 2,118
Radomiak Radom Radom Stadion Miejski 4,066
Resovia Rzeszów Stadion Miejski1 11,547
Sandecja Nowy Sącz Nowy Sącz Władysław Augustynek Stadium 2,988
Stomil Olsztyn Olsztyn Stadion Miejski 16,800
Widzew Łódź Łódź Stadion Widzewa 18,018
Zagłębie Sosnowiec Sosnowiec Stadion Ludowy 7,500

Champions of the Polish second level[]

  • 1949 - Górnik Radlin, Garbarnia Krakow
  • 1950 - Polonia Bytom
  • 1951 - Lechia Gdańsk
  • 1952 - Gwardia Warszawa, Budowlani Opole
  • 1953 - Polonia Bydgoszcz
  • 1954 - Zagłębie Sosnowiec
  • 1955 - Budowlani Opole
  • 1956 - Polonia Bytom
  • 1957 - Polonia Bydgoszcz, Cracovia
  • 1958 - Pogoń Szczecin, Górnik Radlin
  • 1959 - Odra Opole, Zagłębie Sosnowiec
  • 1960 - Lech Poznań, Stal Mielec
  • 1961 - Gwardia Warszawa
  • 1962 - Stal Rzeszów, Pogoń Szczecin
  • 1963 - Szombierki Bytom
  • 1964 - Śląsk Wrocław
  • 1965 - Wisła Kraków
  • 1966 - Cracovia
  • 1967 - Gwardia Warszawa
  • 1968 - Zagłębie Wałbrzych
  • 1969 - Gwardia Warszawa
  • 1970 - ROW Rybnik
  • 1971 - Odra Opole
  • 1972 - ROW Rybnik

External links[]

Template:Polish First League seasons

Football in Poland
League competitions PZPN Cup competitions
Ekstraklasa Poland Polish Cup
I liga (U-21 · U-20 · U-19) Polish SuperCup
II liga List of stadiums Ekstraklasa Cup
III liga (8 groups) List of leagues
IV liga (20 groups) List of players
Second level football leagues of Europe (UEFA)

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