The Ekstraklasa, which has been called PKO BP Ekstraklasa since the 2019-20 season due to its sponsorship by PKO Bank Polski, is the best Polish professional league for football teams of the men's associations.
The season starts in July and ends in May or June of the following year. 16 clubs compete with the I league an ascension and descent system. The teams play a total of 37 games, a total of 296 games in the season. The games are played on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The winner of the Ekstraklasa qualifies for the Polish SuperCup. Ekstraklasa is now operated by Ekstraklasa SA .
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The Ekstraklasa (formerly I liga) was officially founded on 4 and 5 December 1926 in Warsaw as Liga Polska, since 1 March 1927 as Liga Piłki Nożnej, but the Polish Football Association (Polish: Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej, PZPN) existed since December 20, 1919, one year after the independence of Poland in 1918. The first games of the newly created league took place on April 3, 1927, while in 1920 the first national football championship took place outside the league.
In total, since the founding of the league, 81 teams have played in the top division of Polish football, 16 of which have won the title. The current champion is Piast Gliwice, who won his first title in the 2018-19 season.Foundation of the Polish Football League On December 4 and 5, 1926, representatives of several Polish clubs met in Warsaw to discuss the creation of a league. It is not known where the idea of a Polish league came from, but a national league was seen as a much more practical solution than the two-tier system of regional games practiced so far, followed by a national game.
To the dismay of the club officials, the PZPN was not open to the idea of a national league and therefore tried to thwart them. However, it turned out that practically all Polish clubs except one supported the idea. The decision to make it was made independently of the opinion of the PZPN representatives. At the PZPN meeting in Warsaw at the end of February 1927, the PZPN officials openly opposed forming a league, but the clubs allegedly played a key role by some of the Polish Army generals (who were key players after the May 1926 coup the founding of the PZPN) were fired on all aspects of public life), went on anyway. The founding of the league was announced on March 1, 1927.
The only opponent of the league formation was Cracovia - a very influential and strong organization in Polish football of the 1920s. Cracovia's boycott was due to the fact that its chairman, Dr. Ing. Edward Cetnarowski, who also held the post of director of the PZPN. Cetnarowski was a person known not only in Poland but also in other countries. It was due to his efforts that Cracovia traveled to Spain in September 1923, drew 1-1 with Barcelona and lost 1-0 against Real Madrid. Thanks to Cetnarowski, Sevilla traveled to Krakow in October, losing 2-3 to Cracovia
There are 16 clubs in Ekstraklasa. During the season, each club plays twice, once in its own stadium and once in the stadium of the opponent, a total of 30 games (240 games in the season). From the 2013/14 season, the league will be divided into the groups "champions" (top 8 teams) and "descent" (top 8 teams) after the 30th round. Each team plays seven more games (teams ranked 1-4 and 9-12 play four times at home). The 2016/17 season was the last in which the teams started an extra round with half of the points scored in the first phase of 30 games (rounded up). The changes extend the season to a total of 296 matches played.
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