Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

Russian Premier League: Embracing the Thrills of Russian Football

Russia Flag and Football
Image credit: Marco Vetch /

The Russian Premier League is the pinnacle of football in Russia, captivating fans with its competitive spirit and exhilarating matches. In this article, we delve into the stadiums, statistics, and the rich history of this prestigious league. Whether you’re a seasoned football enthusiast or simply curious about Russian football, this article has got you covered.

Stadium Stats

Team Stats

Russian Premier League Stadiums

Gazovik Stadium Orenburg
Image credit: Baziz87, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While football holds immense popularity in Russia, the country’s stadiums differ from those found in major European nations like England and Spain. Harsh winters make sitting in an exposed stadium unappealing for extended periods, giving rise to unique stadium designs.

Notably, the Kazan Arena in Kazan and the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow were constructed as host stadiums for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, boasting capacities of approximately 45,000 spectators. These stadiums represent the largest venues in the Russian Premier League.

The league’s average stadium capacity is around 20,000, with some accommodating up to 30,000 visitors, while others cater to smaller crowds of fewer than 5,000. For example, the Gazovik Stadium in Orenburg and the SKB-Bank Arena in Ural Sverdlovsk Oblast can welcome 10,000 fans.

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With the fluid nature of the league and the promotion and relegation system with the National Football League, teams may play matches in larger or smaller stadiums, offering a diverse football experience.

About The League

The Russian Premier League adheres to a points system common to major European leagues. A team earns three points for a victory, zero for a loss, and a solitary point for a draw. At the end of the season, the team with the most points emerges as the league champion. In case of a tie, criteria such as the number of wins and goal difference come into play. If the tie persists, a thrilling playoff determines the champion.

Each team competes against every other team twice, once at home and once away. Previously, the league season ran from March to November, taking into account Russia’s challenging weather conditions. However, since the 2012-2013 season, matches are played from autumn to spring, with a three-month break from December to mid-March to accommodate harsh winter conditions. The second and third-placed teams secure berths in the prestigious Champions League group stage, while the fourth and fifth-placed teams qualify for the Europa League. The bottom two teams face relegation.

Russian Premier League History

Russian Football Team 1912

Football in Russia traces back to the late nineteenth century, introduced by British nationals residing in the country. St. Petersburg witnessed the game’s initial steps, with English and Scottish workers forming their teams and igniting the passion for the sport among the locals.

The Russian Premier League, however, emerged after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, with each former Soviet republic establishing independent championships from 1992 onwards. In Russia, the six teams that were part of the Soviet Top League were joined by fourteen additional teams from lower divisions to form the twenty-team Russian Top Division.

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Considering the vastness of the country and travel challenges, the Top Division was split into two groups of ten teams to reduce the number of matches and travel distances. The total number of teams was later reduced to eighteen and eventually to sixteen, which has been the consistent format ever since.

In 2001, the league rebranded as the Russian Premier League. Notably, teams from Moscow have dominated the league’s history, with Spartak Moscow leading the way in terms of titles won. However, Rubin Kazan, Zenit St. Petersburg, and Spartak-Alania Vladikavkaz have also left their mark by claiming the top spot, showcasing the league’s unpredictability.


FAQs will be included here.


The Russian Premier League stands as a testament to the passion and skill of Russian football. From its unique stadiums to the thrilling matches and captivating history, this league offers an experience like no other. So, whether you’re planning a trip to Russia or simply seeking to expand your football knowledge, immerse yourself in the world of the Russian Premier League.