Primera División de Fútbol de El Salvador

C.D. FAS Alianza F.C. C.D. Águila

Primera División de Fútbol de El Salvador
Primera Division de Futbol de El Salvador logo.png
CountryEl Salvador El Salvador
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toSegunda División
League cup(s)Copa El Salvador
International cup(s)CONCACAF Champions League
Current championsTitle not awarded after season cancelled
(2020 Clausura)
Most championshipsFAS (17 titles)
2019–20 Primera División de El Salvador

The Primera División of the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (Professional Football League), more commonly known as La Liga Mayor or La Primera, is the top professional football league in El Salvador.[1]

It was established in 1969, and in 2011 had 10 clubs. Initially the league was run as a year-long tournament, but since 1998 there are two tournaments each year, much like in many other football leagues in the Americas.[2][3]

The Apertura season runs from August to December, while the Clausura season runs from February to July.[4][5]

Competition format

La Liga Mayor follows the usual double round-robin format.[6]

During the course of a given season (Apertura or Clausura), each club plays every other club twice, once at home and once away, for a total of 22 games.

Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, with the top six clubs at the end of the season progressing through to the finals.

If points are equal between two or more clubs, goal difference usually determines their placement.

Although when it comes to qualifying for the finals, if the team in sixth and seventh spot are equal on points, then a Repechaje or Playoff is needed to determine which team gains entry into finals.

A system of promotion and relegation exists between the Primera División and the Segunda División.

In May each year, at the conclusion of both the apertura and clausura seasons, the team with the fewest points on aggregate over both seasons, is automatically relegated to the Segunda División, while the team with the second fewest points must participate in a Repechaje or Playoff with the runner-up of the Segunda División.

The winner of this home and away playoff will be guaranteed a spot in the Primera División for the following season.

This means that every year, a maximum of two teams could be relegated from the Primera División depending on the results of the Repechaje between the second last placed team in the Primera División and the runner-up of the Segunda División.

CONCACAF Champions League

La Liga Mayor has two guaranteed spots in the CONCACAF Champions League. One spot in the Preliminary Round and another in the Group stage. The winner of each apertura and clausura season gains automatic entry into this tournament. To determine which team enters the tournament at what stage, aggregate points over both seasons is used, with the team that has the most points overall progressing through to the Group stage, and the other team going to the Preliminary Round. If the same team is to win both the apertura and clausura seasons, then that team automatically gains entry into the Group stage, and again, aggregate points over both seasons is used to determine the second team that will qualify to the Preliminary Round.



In 1921, the Salvadoran Sports Commission (Comisión Nacional de Educación Física) held its very first National Sports Week. Although initially this event did not include any participation from football clubs, it would go on to be the basis of what would grow to be the Liga Mayor of today. In 1924, due to high demand, the commission included a football tournament in the annual Sports Week. Due to the enormous success of this event, it was decided that starting in 1926 the Sports Week tournament would in turn become the country's official National Football Championship. The championship was to be contended by three teams who represent the three different zones of the country playing in a double round robin format. The first three teams to compete in the tournament were, Nequepio (Central Zone), Chinameca Sporting Club (Eastern Zone) and Olímpic (Western Zone). This format was used until 1930.


Controversy occurred after the 1929–30 championship when finalists Excélsior F.C. (who represented the western zone) complained that the second leg of the final against Hércules should not be registered, as they felt that the referee in that game had helped Hércules win the title. The Sports Commission did not agree and the result was not changed. As a result, Excélsior F.C. withdrew from the tournament and Hércules was crowned champion. This led to there being talk of corruption from event organisers against teams from the western part of the country, and as a result teams from that zone refused to take part in any of the following Championships. Because of this there was no national playoff held again until 1937.

Return of the National Championship

The national championship returned to its original format in 1937, but was short lived, as once again, teams complained of there still being corruption within the tournament. Again as a result, there was no national championship during 1939 and 1941. Although no national championship was played, there was still regional championships which over time are now considered to be legitimate national championships.

Introduction of a league format

In 1947 the Salvadoran Football Federation tried to organize a National Championship in league format, but this proved to be unsuccessful and the tournament was suspended after only a few rounds. It proved to be more successful the following season, but was postponed once again in 1949. Although this new format did not begin very well, because of a lack of organisation, it did prove to work very well during the 1950 championship, and throughout the 1950s.

The league begins to form

The 1950s saw interest in the league begin to grow nationwide and although the league did have some problems, with teams dropping out at the end of any given season, it would not affect the league as a whole, as there were various new teams that were anxious to take part in the league and take the place of those that had left. In 1955, league organisers announced that the championship would now be played out in a double round robin format, with a maximum of 10 teams taking part in the league. This year also saw the introduction of promotion and relegation into the league.

Switch to Apertura/Clausura format

In 1998, league officials decided to change the league format from a yearlong tournament to an Apertura/Clausura schedule, with the hope that it would garner more interest in the league and give a chance for its player to rest between seasons.

Annex Major League Soccer El Salvador

These are the three league format that existed in Salvadoran national football league until now

Three regional champions, faced each other in the national championship. Each team represented a different section of the country (West zone, Central zone, East zone).

This format consisted of all against all and twelve national teams participated.

The current league format, consisting of two short football tournaments annually mind between opening and closing ceremonies are held.

New league format 2015/2016

For the 2015–16 season, the league will have 12 teams in the league, leaving behind 10 years team, with the approval of this new format, major league soccer Cadre El Salvador, seeks to be more competitive and bring football to Salvadoran throughout the country.

Primera Division Clubs

Prior to 19, many clubs competed in the top level of Salvadoran football as the earlier rounds were competed up to 193 on a regional basis then interregional up to 193. Below is a list of Primera Division clubs who have competed in the competition when it has been a league format (TBD in total).

2019–20 members

Apertura 2018/Clausura 2019
Name City Stadium Capacity plays in the first division since the year First season in the first division in its history
Atlético Marte San Salvador Estadio Azul 53,000 2020 (A) 1952 (A)
Águila San Miguel Juan Francisco Barraza 10,000 1959 1950
Alianza San Salvador Estadio Cuscatlán 53,000 1959 1959
Chalatenango Chalatenango Estadio José Gregorio Martínez 15.000 2015 1950
FAS Santa Ana Oscar Quiteño 15,000 1948 1948
Isidro Metapán Metapán Jorge Calero Suárez 10.000 2001 (A) 2001 (A)
Jocoro Jocoro Complejo Deportivo Tierra de Fuego 10,000 2018 (A) 2018 (A)
Firpo Usulután Estadio Sergio Torres 5,000 2020 (A) 1948 (A)
Municipal Limeño Santa Rosa de Lima Estadio Jose Ramon Flores 5,000 2016 1972
Once Deportivo Ahuachapán Estadio Simeón Magaña 5,000 2019 (A) 2019 (A)
Santa Tecla Santa Tecla Estadio Las Delicias 10,000 2012 (A) 2012 (A)
Sonsonate Sonosonate Estadio Anna Mercedes Campos 8,000 2015 1948 (A)

Seasons in primera Division

There are TBD teams that have taken part in TBD primera division championships, Apertura/Clausura has been played from the 1998 season onwards. The teams in bold compete in Primera Division currently. C.D. FAS is the only team that has played Primera division football in every season.

Team presidents

No. Name Team president
1 Alexander Menjívar Águila
2 Adolfo Salume Alianza
3 Rigoberto Mejía Chalatenango
4 José Ferrufino El Vencedor
5 Guillermo Morán FAS
6 Geovanny Villalobos Independiente
7 Rafael Morataya Isidro Metapán
8 Leonel Hernández Jocoro
9 Martín Herrera Municipal Limeño
10 Antonio Salaverría Once Deportivo
11 José Vidal Santa Tecla
12 Pedro Contreras Sonsonate

Important matches

International broadcasters

Centro y Norte America (CNA)

Country Language Broadcasters
El Salvador Spanish TCS
USA English Megavisión
Canada French Telemundo
Mexico Spanish T.V Azteca
Europa English SKY
Australia English SKY


Teams in bold are currently participating in La Liga Mayor.

Team Championships Runners-up Winning Years
FAS 17 22 1951–1952, 1953–1954, 1957–1958, 1961–1962, 1962, 1977–1978, 1978–1979, 1981, 1984, 1994–1995, 1995–1996, Clausura 2002, Apertura 2002, Apertura 2003, Apertura 2004, Clausura 2005, Apertura 2009
Águila 16 9 1959, 1960–1961, 1963–1964, 1964, 1967–1968, 1972, 1975–1976, 1976–1977, 1983, 1987–1988, Apertura 1999, Apertura 2000, Clausura 2001, Clausura 2006, Clausura 2012, Clausura 2019
Alianza FC 14 11 1965–66, 1966–67, 1986–87, 1989–90, 1993–1994, 1996–1997, Apertura 1998, Apertura 2001, Clausura 2004, Clausura 2011, Apertura 2015, Apertura 2017, Clausura 2018, Apertura 2019
Firpo 10 11 1988–1989, 1990–1991, 1991–1992, 1992–1993, 1997–1998, Clausura 1999, Clausura 2000, Apertura 2007, Clausura 2008, Clausura 2013
Isidro Metapán 10 2 Clausura 2007, Apertura 2008, Clausura 2009, Clausura 2010, Apertura 2010, Apertura 2011, Apertura 2012, Apertura 2013, Clausura 2014, Apertura 2014
Atlético Marte 8 0 1955, 1955–1956, 1956–57, 1968–1969, 1970, 1980–1981, 1982, 1985
Hércules 7 0 1927, 1928, 1929–1930, 1930–1931, 1931–1932, 1932–1933, 1933–1934
Quequeisque 5 0 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945
Santa Tecla FC 4 2 Clausura 2015, Apertura 2016, Clausura 2017, Apertura 2018
C.D. 33 3 0 1937, 1938, 1939
CD Dragón 3 3 1950–1951, 1952–1953, Clausura 2016
Once Municipal 2 6 1948–1949, Apertura 2006
Juventud Olímpia 2 4 1971, 1973
Maya 2 1 1934–1935, 1935–1936
Santiagueño 1 1 1979–1980
San Salvador 1 1 Clausura 2003
Chinameca S.C. 1 1 1926
Libertad 1 1 1946
Vista Hermosa 1 0 Apertura 2005
Platense 1 0 1974–1975
España 1 0 1939–1940

Former teams

Name City Foundation Dissolved
Vista Hermosa San Francisco Gotera (Morazán) 1999 2012
Atlético Balboa La Unión (La Unión) 1950 2010
San Salvador San Salvador (San Salvador) 2002 2008
Independiente Nacional 1906 San Vicente (San Vicente) 1946 2007
Juventud Olímpica Acajutla (Sonsonate) 1939 2007
ADET La Libertad (La Libertad) 1974 2001
Santiagueño Santiago de María (Usulután) 1970 1985
Quequeisque Santa Tecla (La Libertad) 1896 1968
Libertad F.C. La Libertad (La Libertad) 1930 1950
España Atletico San Salvador (San Salvador) 1930 1941
Hércules San Salvador (San Salvador) 1920 1939
Deportivo 33 San Salvador (San Salvador) 1933 1940
ADET La Libertad (La Libertad) 1974 2001
Coca Cola San Salvador (San Salvador) 1930 2007
Atlante San Alejo (La Unión) 1930 1955
Excélsior Santa Ana (Santa Ana) 1928 1945

Player records (Liga Mayor de Futbol)

Statistics below are for all-time leaders who are still playing. Statistics are for regular season only.

Short Tournament (1926–1946)

Three regional champions, faced each other in the national championship. Each team represented a different section of the country (West zone, Central zone, East zone).

Season Champion Runner-up
1926 Chinameca Nequepio
1927 Hércules Chinameca
1928 Hércules Excélsior F.C.
1929–30 Hércules Excélsior F.C.
1930–31* Hércules
1931–32* Hércules
1932–33* Hércules
1933–34* Hércules
1934–35* C.D. Maya
1935–36* C.D. Maya
1937 C.D. 33 C.D. Alacranes
1938 C.D. 33 C.D. Maya
1939* C.D. 33
1940* España F.C.
1941* Quequeisque
1942 Quequeisque Juventud Olímpica
1943 Quequeisque Ferrocarril
1944* Quequeisque
1945* Quequeisque
1946 Libertad F.C. Once Municipal

*There was no national championship held during this year, only regional championships. These championships are now often considered national titles.

League System (1947–1997)

Season Champion Runner-up
1948–49 Once Municipal Libertad F.C.
1950–51 C.D. Dragón C.D. FAS
1951–52 C.D. FAS Leones
1952–53 C.D. Dragón Juventud Olímpica
1953–54 C.D. FAS C.D. Dragón
1955 Atlético Marte C.D. Dragón
1955–56 Atlético Marte L.A. Firpo
1956–57 Atlético Marte Atlante San Alejo
1957–58 C.D. FAS Once Municipal
1959 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1960–61 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1961–62 C.D. FAS C.D. Águila
1962 C.D. FAS Atlante San Alejo
1963–64 C.D. Águila Juventud Olímpica
1964 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1965–66 Alianza F.C. C.D. UES
1966–67 Alianza F.C. C.D. Águila
1967–68 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1968–69 Atlético Marte C.D. FAS
1970 Atlético Marte C.D. FAS
1971 Juventud Olímpica Alianza F.C.
1972 C.D. Águila Juventud Olímpica
1973 Juventud Olímpica Alianza F.C.
1974–75 C.D. Platense Negocios Internacionales
1975–76 C.D. Águila Alianza F.C.
1976–77 C.D. Águila Once Municipal
1977–78 C.D. FAS Once Municipal
1978–79 C.D. FAS Alianza F.C.
1979–80 C.D Santiagueño C.D. Águila
1980–81 Atlético Marte C.D Santiagueño
1981 C.D. FAS Independiente Nacional 1906
1982 Atlético Marte Independiente Nacional 1906
1983 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1984 C.D. FAS C.D. Águila
1985 Atlético Marte Alianza F.C.
1986–87 Alianza F.C. C.D. Águila
1987–88 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
1988–89 L.A. Firpo Cojutepeque F.C.
1989–90 Alianza F.C. L.A. Firpo
1990–91 L.A. Firpo C.D. Águila
1991–92 L.A. Firpo Alianza F.C.
1992–93 L.A. Firpo Alianza F.C.
1993–94 Alianza F.C. C.D. FAS
1994–95 C.D. FAS L.A. Firpo
1995–96 C.D. FAS L.A. Firpo
1996–97 Alianza F.C. L.A. Firpo
1997–98 L.A. Firpo C.D. FAS

**No national championship was held during these years

Apertura/Clausura format (1999–present)

Season Champion Runner-up
Apertura 1998* Alianza F.C. L.A. Firpo
Clausura 1999 L.A. Firpo C.D. FAS
Apertura 1999 C.D. Águila C.D. Municipal Limeño
Clausura 2000 L.A. Firpo ADET
Apertura 2000 C.D. Águila C.D. Municipal Limeño
Clausura 2001 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
Apertura 2001 Alianza F.C. L.A. Firpo
Clausura 2002 C.D. FAS Alianza F.C.
Apertura 2002 C.D. FAS San Salvador F.C.
Clausura 2003 San Salvador F.C. L.A. Firpo
Apertura 2003 C.D. FAS C.D. Águila
Clausura 2004 Alianza F.C. C.D. FAS
Apertura 2004 C.D. FAS C.D. Atlético Balboa
Clausura 2005 C.D. FAS L.A. Firpo
Apertura 2005 C.D. Vista Hermosa A.D. Isidro Metapán
Clausura 2006 C.D. Águila C.D. FAS
Apertura 2006 Once Municipal C.D. FAS
Clausura 2007 A.D. Isidro Metapán L.A. Firpo
Apertura 2007 L.A. Firpo C.D. FAS
Clausura 2008 L.A. Firpo C.D. FAS
Apertura 2008 A.D. Isidro Metapán C.D. Chalatenango
Clausura 2009 A.D. Isidro Metapán L.A. Firpo
Apertura 2009 C.D. FAS C.D. Águila
Clausura 2010 A.D. Isidro Metapán C.D. Águila
Apertura 2010 A.D. Isidro Metapán Alianza F.C.
Clausura 2011 Alianza F.C. C.D. FAS
Apertura 2011 A.D. Isidro Metapán Once Municipal
Clausura 2012 C.D. Águila A.D. Isidro Metapán
Apertura 2012 A.D. Isidro Metapán Alianza F.C.
Clausura 2013 L.A. Firpo C.D. FAS
Apertura 2013 A.D. Isidro Metapán C.D. FAS
Clausura 2014 A.D. Isidro Metapán C.D. Dragon
Apertura 2014 A.D. Isidro Metapán C.D. Aguila
Clausura 2015 Santa Tecla F.C. A.D. Isidro Metapán
Apertura 2015 Alianza F.C. C.D. FAS
Clausura 2016 C.D. Dragon C.D. Aguila
Apertua 2016 Santa Tecla F.C. Alianza F.C.
Clausura 2017 Santa Tecla F.C. Alianza F.C.
Apertua 2017 Alianza F.C. Santa Tecla F.C.
Clausura 2018 Alianza F.C. Santa Tecla F.C.
Apertua 2018 Santa Tecla F.C. Alianza F.C.
Clausura 2019 C.D. Aguila Alianza F.C.
2019 Apertura Alianza F.C. C.D. FAS
2020 Clausura Season cancelled, title not awarded (^)

(*) The first winner of the shorter tournament has been deemed "Champion Cup", and the next, that of the Clausura 1999, as "champions". The First Division of El Salvador has not changed that status competition.

(^) Season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once Deportivo were originally given the championship after leading the competition after 11 rounds, but the title was later retracted.[7]

Professional Football locally Salvadoran

Name Salvadoran football competition Copetencia level football Number of teams in league
Salvadoran Primera División 1ª "A" 12 Football clubs
Segunda División de Fútbol Salvadoreño 2ª "B" 24 Football clubs
Tercera Division de Fútbol Salvadoreño 3ª "C" 40 Football clubs
Federated Salvadoran Football League 4ª "D" 50 Football clubs


Current Board of Directors


Position Staff
President El Salvador Lic. Vidal Hernández
Vice-President El Salvador Ing. Antonio Asencio
Secretary El Salvador Lic. Guillermo Morán
Pro-Secretary El Salvador Lic. Ernesto Allwood
Administrative Manager El Salvador Sr. Humberto Blanco
One senior staff El Salvador Sr. Jesús Flores
Two managers El Salvador Lic. Víctor Quintanilla
Third managers El Salvador Lic. Guillermo Morán
Management Representative El Salvador Lic. Roberto Campos


  1. ^ "Fesfut modifica a favor de la Primera el tema de la fianza deportiva -". 26 June 2017. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Otros equipos que fueron desafiliados en el fútbol salvadoreño". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  3. ^ "De jugador profesional a goleador de la selección de amputados". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Así se jugarán los cuartos de final del Clausura 2017". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Oriente fue un fracaso en el Apertura 2017 de la primera división". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Santa Tecla sella su boleto a semifinales". Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  7. ^ "FESFUT ya no reconoce al Once Deportivo como campeón y congela el descenso y ascenso". 29 April 2020.