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Saudi Professional League

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Country  Saudi Arabia
Relegation to  First Division
Number of teams  14 (from 2010–11)
Current champion  Al-Ahli SC (3rd title)
Level on pyramid  1
Most championships  Al-Hilal (13 titles)
Founded  1976
Levels on pyramid  1

International cup(s)  AFC Champions League UAFA Club Cup GCC Champions League
Current champions  Al-Ahli (3rd title) (2015–16)
Confederation  Asian Football Confederation
Domestic cups  Kings Cup, Saudi Super Cup, Saudi Crown Prince Cup
Teams  Al‑Hilal FC, Ittihad FC, Al‑Ahli SC, Al‑Nassr FC, Al‑Shabab FC
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The Saudi Professional League (Arabic: دوري المحترفين السعودي‎‎), officially known as Jameel League named after Abdul Latif Jameel Group for sponsorship reasons, is the top division of Association football league in Saudi Arabia.

Contents

The first season of the competition was held in 1976–77, in which it was won by Al-Hilal. Also Al-Hilal are the most successful team with 13 titles, while Al-Ahli are the current title-holder (2015–16), which is the third title in total.

History

Up until the late seventies, football in Saudi Arabia was organized on a regional basis, with the only nationwide tournament being the King's Cup. In 1976 it was deemed that local football, and transportation links, have improved sufficiently to organize a national league. Hence the Saudi League was launched with 16 clubs participating, and only 8 of them surviving in the next season. This decision was made in order to decide who relegates to the first division, and who rightfully stays on the premier league.

In 1981 it was decided to increase the number of clubs and add a second division. The league competition for the 1981–82, known as the ranking league, featured 18 clubs with the top eight qualifying for the first division and the bottom ten to the new second division. The number of first division clubs was later increased to 12 in the 1984–85 season.

In 1990 it was decided to revamp local competitions and to introduce professional football. A new league championship was formed called "The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques League Cup", which was a two-stage championship. The first stage was a regular double round-robin league competition with the top 4 qualifying to the final knockout stage, called the golden square. Clubs were allowed to sign players on a professional basis making the league semi professional.

In 2007 It was decided to split the two stages, with the league reverting to a standard double round-robin competition, and a new domestic competition cup competition formed called "The Custodian of The Two Holy Mosques Champions Cup". This cup will feature the top six finishers in the league plus the winners of the Crown Prince Cup and the Prince Faisal Cup. This format will take effect from the 2007–08 season onwards.

Qualification and prize money

As of 2008, four teams from Saudi Arabia qualify for the AFC Asian Champions League annually. This includes the top three teams of the AJL together with the winner of the King cup. If the winner of the King Cup is also among the Four top AJL teams then the fourth best AJL team will qualifies to the extensions and if the winner of the King Cup is under The Four top ALJ teams then the fourth team will not qualifies and the third team will qualifies to the extension.

Prize money:

  • First place: 3,800,000 Saudi Riyals
  • Second place: 2,000,000 Saudi Riyals
  • Third place: 1,000,000 Saudi Riyals
  • (Note, all clubs in the Saudi Professional League receive prize money depending on their rank.)

    List of teams (2016–17 season)

    Notes

    References

    Saudi Professional League Wikipedia


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