Latvia Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Sarkanbaltsarkanie (Red-white-red)
Head coach: Aleksandrs Starkovs
Captain: Kaspars Gorkšs
Most caps: Vitalijs Astafjevs (167)
Top scorer: Maris Verpakovskis (28)
Home stadium: Skonto stadions
In recent years, football has boomed in popularity in Latvia. However, football is still behind basketball and ice hockey in the nation's list of favourite sports. The national football league has three divisions, each with eight teams, while each team is obliged to have a youth structure in place for at least two age groups. There are youth competitions for all ages between U-10 and U-18. Futsal is extremely popular (18 teams in two leagues), whereas women's football has been slower to catch on. Latvia has not «exported» many players. Andrejs Stolcers (Fulham) and Marians Pahars (Southampton) are the most famous players to have earned a transfer to a European league. In recent years, the Latvian FA has laid used artificial turf pitches in each region of the country in an attempt to improve the grassroots.
UEFA World Cup Qualifiers
The Union of European Football Associations, almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer. UEFA represents most of the national football associations of Europe, runs national and club competitions in its area, and controls the prize money, regulations and media rights to those competitions. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia transcontinental nations such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, and Russia, are members of the UEFA rather than AFC, as are Israel and Cyprus which lie entirely in Asia.