Football is still the number one sport in the world. But the focus of fans is slowly beginning to change. Where at the end of the last century most watched national teams and in the noughties everyone was a fan of the big name clubs, nowadays more and more fans return to watching domestic games and supporting local, although unassuming, teams.
In fact, this is a kind of exodus to the roots of football as a sport. This trend is particularly common in Nordic countries. For example, the Norway 1st division has suddenly become popular. In Norway, as in England, the game of leather ball started at the end of the century before last. It was a time of industrialisation, the first factories and plants. The first football clubs were based on them. And as the enterprises were the main city-forming factor, such teams often became the brainchild of the whole city, its main entertainment and pride. A prime example of such a club is Liverpool. But back to Norway.
The history of the development of the First Division.
During its 70-year history, the First Division has undergone many changes. This concerns not only the teams that played in it, but also the football rules, the very name of the division and football in general. The tournament was organised in 1948. In fact, from the very beginning it was a very prestigious competition, almost the second in the country, which was called the first division. For ten years, from 2004 to 2014, the tournament was called Adekkoliga, according to the rules of Norwegian football. Then, for just a year, the old name – First Division – was reintroduced. Almost immediately, the tournament got a title sponsor, the construction company OBOS, after whom it is now named.
Features of playing in the Norway First division
A glance at the league table reveals that most teams have at one time or another played in the Norwegian top flight and that some clubs have even been awarded top flight titles. So you can’t look at the tournament as a place for low quality teams. In fact, the competition in the first league may be much tougher and more desperate than in the first league. And the average number of goals per match here is almost 3. Yes, the game is less technical and players rarely show great dribbling or flawless passing. But you certainly will not have to watch the teams being cautious and rolling the ball for an hour and a half. But the number of penalties per game can be off the scale. That is why the First Division is favoured by those who love hard and fast-paced football, where there is no place for compromise and elaborate strategies, and where teams will not be stalling and wasting time.
Another strength of the first division is the nurturing of young footballers. The bases of these clubs usually have very strong youth and youth schools. The young athletes go through a tough schooling both in terms of learning the game and in terms of physical fitness. They usually play for their home club for a fairly short period of time, and quickly move on to more titled teams or overseas. But it is playing in the first division that makes them so tough and brave on the pitch.
How was the last season in the first division?
Due to the climate in Norway, the season lasts from spring to autumn. There are 16 teams in the tournament, of which two are guaranteed to move up to the top division and two are relegated. In addition to the 30 matches of the tournament, there are also play-off matches.
This year’s winner was team Brann, who far outclassed their rivals in points. They are one of the oldest clubs in the country, who have been in the top division for a long time and finally managed to get back there again.