Fotbollsallsvenskan, commonly known as Allsvenskan, is the highest league in the Swedish league system for football (soccer). The league used to be comprised of 14 teams, but since 2008 there are 16 participants.
The Allsvenskan season runs from March through October and each team meet all the other 15 teams twice; once at home and once away. Each team thus play 30 games which gives us a total of 480 Allsvenska games per season.
By the end of the season, the two teams with the lowest amount of points are relegated to Superettan (the second highest league) while the two top teams from Superettan are promoted to Allsvenskan. The third lowest team in Allsvenskan and the third top team in Superettan will play-off to decide who goes to Allsvenskan and who goes to Superettan.
Allsvenskan history and the Swedish Champion title
The winner of Allvenskan is crowned Swedish Football Champion, but it hasn't always been like that. From 1924 to 1930 and from 1982 through 1990, the winners of Allsvenskan was not considered Swedish Champions.
The coveted title has been awarded since 1896, and the very first team to receive it was Ögryte IS who won the cup tournament Svenska Mästerskapet well before there was any national football association in Sweden. Even though a national association was formed in 1904 and a national league named Svenskan Serien started in 1910, Svenska Mästerskapet continued to decide the Swedish Champions until 1925 when the tournament was discontinued.
Allsvenskan premiered in 1924-25, but it would take until 1930-31 until it gained the right to call its winners Swedish Champions. In 1982 Allsvenskan lost that right when it was decided that the title Swedish Champion was to be given to the winner of a play-off held after the end of the Allsvenskan season. This practise continued throughout the 1980s, but in the years 1991 and 1992 the title was given to the winners of Mästerskapsserien, a continuation league comprised by the top teams from Allsvenskan. Since 1993, the winners of Allsvenskan have been declared Swedish Champions as well.
From 1904 to 2000, the winner of Allsvenskan was awarded with a trophy named Von Rosens Pokal. It was named in honor of Clarence von Rosen, the first chairman of the Swedish FA. In November 2000, von Rosen's links to Nazi Germany hit the news and prompted Allsvenskan to discontinue the use of Von Rosens Pokal. Since 2001, winners are given Lennart Johanssons Pokal instead. The very first Lennart Johanssons Pokal was handed out by Lennart Johansson himself.
The winner of Allsvenskan qualifies for the UEFA Champions League.
The Allsvenskan runner-up qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.
The third placed team in Allsvenskan qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.
The team how wins Svenska Cupen (Swedish Cup) qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.
This site covers the European Championship (Euro 2012)