Russian Football National League Stadiums & Stats

Russia flag, football and doll
Flickr / Marco Vetch

The Russian Football National League is the second division of football in the Russian Football League system. What might make that slightly confusing is the fact that the third division is called the Second Division. Regardless, the National League is the league beneath the top-flight when it comes to football in the motherland.

On this page, however, we’ll tell you a little bit more about the league than simply where sits on the Russian Football League ladder.

We’ll also tell you about its history, the sort of stadiums you can expect to find if you go to watch football there, and also how the league itself works.

Stadium Stats

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Team Stats

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Russian Football National League Stadiums

Russian stadiums are actually much larger than you might imagine, even when you drop down the divisions. The smallest football ground currently in operation and occupied by a professional team is the Spartak Stadium in Novosibirsk, home of FC Sibir Novosibirsk, which can fit 12,500 people inside it. A large proportion of the other grounds can host over 20,000 fans, so you’re not going to be disappointed if you decided to go and watch a few matches.

When it comes to style, you’ll find a number of different stadium designs being used by Russian Football National League teams. The Russian Football League system is fluid, so you’ll often find teams from the top-flight will drop down when they’re relegated. It’s not unusual for bigger teams to have the bowl-style grounds that are common on the continent, whilst smaller teams tend to have grounds more typically associated with English clubs.

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About The League

Map of League Clubs
No machine-readable author provided. Conscious assumed (based on copyright claims). [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The Russian Football National League has twenty teams in it and they all play each other twice over the course of the season. At the end of the season the top team is crowned as the champion and promoted to the Premier League, along with the team that finishes second. The third and fourth placed teams enter a play-off with the teams that finished thirteenth and fourteenth in the Premier League in order to decide which team will be promoted and which will either be relegated or remain in the same division.

The bottom five teams are relegated to the Russian Professional Football League and go back to their respective Zones. They are duly replaced by the winners of each of the 5 Zones from the division below; West, South, Centre, East, and Ural–Povolzhye (Volga Region).

Russian Football National League History

Russian Football Stamp
Post of Soviet Union [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The league’s official name is the FONBET-Russian Football Championship and it’s sometimes referred to as the FNL.

Despite being the second division of the Russian Football League it used to be known as the Russian First Division. Some of the confusion when it comes to Russian football originates from the fact that the Soviet Top League and Soviet First League, or Divisions One and Two in the Soviet era, where unified into the Russian Top Division after the Soviet Union was dissolved.

The second tier of Russian football was regionalised until 1994.

The National Football League has been self-governing since 2011, before which it was run by The Professional Football League.