Jelgava, Latvia

About Jelgava

Futbola Klubs Jelgava was established in its current form in 2004, although the club's history dates all the way back to the early 1970s, during the Soviet era. Throughout the years, the team have enjoyed some significant success within Latvian football. Although they are currently based in the city of Jelgava, they previously operated out of Rīga during the 1990s.

Jelgava began life as a car factory football club, under the name Automobīlists Jelgava. In the mid-1970s, they adopted the name Metālists Jelgava, before returning to their previous name for much of the 1980s. In 1988, the club became known as RAF Jelgava and it was during this time that the team experienced its greatest level of success. Then, during the mid-1990s, the club relocated to Rīga, where they utilised the names RAF Rīga and FC Universitāte Rīga. The club disbanded in the late 1990s, but returned in 2001 under the RAF Jelgava name. After a merger with FK Viola Jelgava, the team became known as FK Jelgava in 2004.

During the Soviet era, Jelgava experienced success during the late 1980s, winning the Latvian SSR Higher League in back-to-back years in 1988 and 1989. The 1988 season also saw the side lift the Latvian Cup for the first time. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, further success followed, with the team collecting three additional Latvian Cups, in 1993, 1996 and 2010. The club were also runners up in the Virsliga in 1992, 1994 and 1995. As a result of their domestic performances, Jelgava have entered into a number of continental tournaments, including the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

Some of the club's most notable former players include Vladimirs Babičevs, Vladislavs Kozlovs and Artis Lazdiņš.

Jelgava's home matches are played the Olympic Sports Center of Zemgale, which opened in 2010. The venue is currently able to hold a capacity crowd of 2,200 people.

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