Football Association of Finland

The Football Association of Finland (Finnish: Suomen Palloliitto, SPL; Swedish: Finlands Bollförbund, literally "only" Ball Association of Finland) is the governing body of football in Finland. It was founded in Helsinki on 19 May 1907.

Football Association of Finland
Founded19 May 1907
HeadquartersTelia 5G -areena
FIFA affiliation1908
UEFA affiliation1954

The SPL organises the men's and women's national football teams, and the second and third tiers of national football. The premier division Veikkausliiga is organized by a distinct organisation, and the lower tiers (the fourth tier and below) are organized by the 12 district organisations. The SPL is based in the Finnish capital city of Helsinki.


The SPL has more than 1,000 member clubs and approximately 115,000 registered players. The Finnish Gallup survey has indicated that football is a popular pastime with around 500,000 Finns interested in the sport. The SPL is Finland's largest amateur sports federation.[1]

The association was also the governing body of bandy in Finland until Finland's Bandy Association was founded in 1972. In 1928, it also arranged the first Finland ice hockey championship, before the 1929 establishment of the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.[2]

District organisations

At the more local level Finnish football is administered by the following 12 district organisations of the SPL:[3]

There were also 12 other district organisations that no longer exist.


The association publishes several magazines, including now-defunct monthly magazine Futari.[4]


  • Walter Flander 1907–1908
  • John Catani 1909
  • Uno Westerholm 1910–1911
  • Carolus Lindberg 1912
  • Walter Qvist 1913–1917
  • Erik von Frenckell 1918–1952
  • Juuso Walden 1953–1963
  • Osmo P. Karttunen 1963–1974
  • Ove H. Rehn 1974–1975
  • Jouko Loikkanen 1975–1983
  • Lauri Pöyhönen 1983–1987
  • Pentti Seppälä 1987–1997
  • Pekka Hämäläinen 1997–2009
  • Sauli Niinistö 2009–2012
  • Markku Lehtola 2012 (interim)
  • Pertti Alaja 2012–2017
  • Markku Lehtola 2017–2018 (interim)
  • Ari Lahti 2018 to date


  1. "Palloliitto" (in Finnish). Suomen Palloliitto. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  2. "Idrott" (in Swedish). Uppslagsverket Finland. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  3. "Suomen Palloliitto – Piirit". Suomen Palloliitto. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  4. "A-lehdet Dialogi Oy". Aikakaus Media (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 June 2015.
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