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Football in Switzerland
Football in Switzerland

Football is the most popular sport in Switzerland.[1][2][3][4] The Swiss Football Association was formed in 1895 and was a founder member of the sport's international governing body FIFA in 1904. The Swiss cities of Zürich and Nyon are home to FIFA and the European governing body UEFA respectively. The country played host to the 1954 World Cup and 2008 European Championship.

Switzerland has an extensive league system, with the Swiss Super League as the country's premier men's competition. There are also several cup competitions, most notably the national Swiss Cup.[5][6]

With a very young squad, the Swiss national team participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany and were narrowly beaten by Ukraine in penalties. Switzerland co-hosted the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament together with Austria. They did not make further than the preliminary stage, although they did record one win against Portugal, a game in which Portugal played their B squad as they already secured the division. The best international result was probably in 1954 when Switzerland as the host reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup. They also reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 1934 as well as 1938.[7]


The first football club in Switzerland was the Lausanne Football and Cricket Club, founded in 1860 by English students. It was also the first football club created outside of England. The Swiss Football Association (ASF-SFV) is the highest body of professional football in Switzerland and was founded in 1895, although it joined the FIFA in 1904 and UEFA in 1954. The ASF-SFV organizes the Swiss Super League-the first and maximum league competition in the country- and the Swiss Cup, and manages the national men's and women's national team. Switzerland hosted the 1954 World Cup and, together with Austria, the 2008 European Championship.

Swiss football competitions

  • Swiss Super League: is the first division of Swiss football. It was founded in 1897 and is composed of 10 clubs. The five teams with the most titles were Grasshopper Zürich, FC Basel, Servette FC from Geneva, FC Zürich and BSC Young Boys from Berne.
  • Swiss Challenge League: is the second division in the Swiss league system. It consists of 10 clubs, of which the champion ascends directly to the Super League, and the second plays the promotion playoffs with ninth place in the Super League.
  • Swiss Promotion League: is the third division in the Swiss league system. There are 16 teams. The champion ascends directly to challenge league. The two last teams are relegated.
  • 1. Liga: is the fourth division in the Swiss league system. The number of clubs is 48 teams, always divided into three groups.
  • 2. Liga Interregional: is the fifth division in the league system of Switzerland. The number of clubs is 84 teams divided into six groups.
  • 2. Liga: is the sixth division in the Swiss league system. The number of clubs is 215 teams divided into 17 groups.
  • 3. Liga
  • 4. Liga
  • 5. Liga
  • Swiss Cup: is the national cup of Swiss football, organized by the Swiss Football Association and whose champion has access to play the UEFA Europa League.
  • Uhrencup
  • Coppa delle Alpi
  • Nationalliga A, the Top Level Women's League

National team

The Swiss national team, in its various categories, is controlled by the Swiss Football Association.

The Swiss team played their first official match on February 12, 1905 in Paris against France, a match that was resolved with victory of the French 1-0. Switzerland has managed to qualify for nine FIFA World Cups and three European Championships. The greatest achievement of the Swiss team was the quarterfinals achieved in the World Cups of 1934, 1938 and 1954, the latter played in Switzerland.

In addition, the selection of Switzerland has participated in three editions of the Eurocopa in 1996, 2004 and 2008. It accumulated a victory, two draws and six defeats, without having passed the first phase. Switzerland organized Euro 2008 together with Austria.

The women's team debuted on May 4, 1972 before the selection of France in a match that ended 2-2 in Basel. The women's team of Switzerland has not yet participated in a final phase of the World Cup or the European Championship.

Women's football

The Swiss women's soccer championship is divided into 5 levels. Nationalliga A is the highest professional level, followed by National League B. Next there is the third level, the First League, divided into three groups. From the fourth to fifth and last level (Second League and Third League) the championships are considered amateurish and therefore are organized by the regional associations.

The Swiss national cup national cup sees the participation of the 10 national league teams at more than 22 teams of other professional championships for a total of 32 teams. The 22 teams from minor championships must have qualification stages. The first Swiss Cup was played in 1976.

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