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Organisation of Football in Germany

The organisation of football in Germany is based on a hierarchical league system, allowing clubs to ascend or descend based on their performance. This structure is divided into several tiers, ranging from professionalism to semi-professionalism, down to amateur football.

At the top of the hierarchy is the Bundesliga, which is the highest level of German football. It comprises 18 professional clubs vying for the title of German champion. The bottom two teams in the standings at the end of the season are relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, which also includes 18 clubs. The top two teams from this division are promoted to the Bundesliga, while the bottom two descend to the 3. Liga.

The 3. Liga, the third tier, hosts 20 teams, predominantly semi-professional. The top two teams are promoted to the 2. Bundesliga, and the bottom three are relegated to the Regionalliga. This tier is subdivided into five regional groups, operating on the same principle of promotion and relegation with the 3. Liga and the Oberliga.

The Oberliga, the fifth tier of German football, is organised into 14 regional groups. It includes amateur clubs as well as reserve teams from professional outfits. Beyond the Oberliga, the system continues with regional and local divisions, highlighting the depth and richness of German football at all levels of competition.

Tiers 6 to 15 of German football consist of numerous regional and local leagues, including the Landesliga, the Bezirksliga, the Kreisliga, and other lower-level leagues. These leagues provide amateur and semi-professional clubs with the opportunity to progress within the German league system.