Colombian Primera A is a professional league for association football clubs in Colombia. The Categoría Primera A is the other name of the competition, also known as Liga BetPlay Dimayor due to sponsorship by online betting company BetPlay.
The competition is the country's premier football tournament and sits at the top of the Colombian professional football league system. It is under the Confederation of CONMEBOL.
There was no professional football competition in Colombia until 1948. Barranquilla FC is the first professional Coloianfootball club based in Barranquilla and Bogotá, followed by Polo Club, Escuela Militar, and Bartolinos, which took a while to develop in popularity in football.
Campeonato Nacional was the first tournament contested in 1918 between Colombian football clubs, followed by another event, Copa Centenario Batalla de Boyacá. Independiente Medellín is the oldest club that remains a professional club, founded on 15 April 1913. Colombian Football Federation and DIMAYOR organized the first tournament in 1948.
Far from being the wrong time in Colombian football, this was its golden period. Colombian teams began importing stars from Europe and South America, no longer need to pay transfer fees to teams from other nations. Attendances increased, and the expanding appetite for team competitions resulted in the formation of the Copa Colombia in 1950. That knockout tournament was played sporadically over the next 58 years and only became an annual competition in 2008.
In 1968 the tournament followed the pattern emerging in South America by replacing its year-long competition with two shorter ones. Colombian teams would compete in two professional tournaments a year from this point forward. The Apertura from February to June of a calendar year and the Finalización from July to December were later named independent championships in 2002.
Another league reform came in 1991, with the addition of the Second and Third divisions. The Third Division had its 2002 campaign canceled for economic issues and stopped providing promotion to the professional levels in 2003 until it was finally dropped in 2010.
The current format of Colombian football was started in the 2019 season. The Colombian Primera A features 20 participant clubs that play through the Apertura and Finalización tournaments each year. Both tournaments are managed according to an identical three-stage system.
The first stage is operated on a single round-robin basis, with each participant playing the other participants once for 19 matches. The top-placed eight teams then advance to a knockout stage of two groups, each participant playing six times in a round-robin system. The two toppers of each group advance to the final, which is played two-legged, once at home and once at the opponent's ground.
Atlético Nacional has won the Colombian top flight titles most of the 16 times, while the club was runners-up 11 times. Millonarios (15), América de Cali (15), Deportivo Cali (10), Junior (9), Santa Fe (9) are the most predominant team of the Colombian top tiers from its inception.
Beside these teams, Independiente Medellín six times, Once Caldas four times, Deportes Tolima three times has won the title. Deportivo Pasto, Deportes Quindío, Cúcuta Deportivo, Boyacá Chicó, and Unión Magdalena won the title at least once.
Gabriel Berdugo holds the most appearances record, having played 773 matches between 1973 to 1981, and Alexis García has played the second highest 723 matches in the Colombian top flight. Sergio Galván Rey is the highest goalscorer of the Colombian Primera A, scoring 224 goals, followed by Iván Valenciano (217 goals).
If you are a crazy football lover and want to watch Colombian Primera A on TV and know which television channels have the legal rights to televise the league on TValong with streaming options, look below.
There are two networks that broadcast Categoría Primera A in Colombia. RCN Televisión is a broadcast network that is available to nearly everyone in the country that provides a live broadcast of the competition domestically.
Win Sports has signed an official deal of broadcasting eight matches each round of the Colombian Primera A on TV in Colombia. It is a 24-hour sports channel available through most satellite and cable TV providers.
Fans can watch all matches of Colombian Primera A live streaming on streaming sites. You can watch the event through Vix, RCN, Win Sports Connect, beIN Sports Connect, Live Soccer TV, Sling TV, and Fubo TV.
In the UK, Australia, Europe, and Asia, it can be much harder to find a streaming option to watch Colombia Categoría Primera A matches due to a focus on European or other local football league coverage. If you live in any of these sides or regions, your best bet is probably to use a VPN to avoid accessing problems into a US server to watch live Primera A matches through various sites.
Football has gained widespread popularity in Colombia over the past few decades. And as a result, Colombia now has a professional football league system with several categories.
The Colombian Premier Primera A is one of the most competitive competitions in this category of Colombian football, with some of the most expensive and most potent teams in the country playing.