The story of African club football can never be enough without talking about the Egyptian Premier League because this league is by far the most successful league in African if we consider their performances in African club competitions as it is host to two of the most successful clubs in the African continent in Zamalek and Al Ahly. These teams are not only popular in African but they are known worldwide as they regularly play in the World Club Cup Tournament where they rub shoulders with some of the world’s best.
What is the Egyptian Premier League?
The Egyptian Premier League is one of the oldest leagues in the world having been formed 72 years ago on the 22nd of October 1948. The league is also popularly known as WE Premier League for sponsorship reasons and its main sponsor is Telecom Egypt, which is Egypt’s primary telephone company.
There are people in some circles who argue that the league is not that competitive and the reason why the competitive balance of the Egyptian Premier League has come under scrutiny is because Al Ahly and Zamalek are the ‘Big Two’ in this league and they continue to retain the EPL championship. The reason why these teams are powerful is because they have huge sponsorship deals and they are able to acquire the services of some of the best players in Egypt and Africa at large, the current Al Ahly coach is Pitso Mosimane, who is from South Africa.
When the league was formed in 1948, it contained just 10-11 clubs in the first four seasons but the number of teams kept on changing and at one point, there was a total of 24 teams but currently, there league comprises of 18 teams and each team plays a total of 34 matches Home and Away against each team in the division.
The team which finishes the season with the most number of points will be crowned Champions. If points are equal, the head to head, the goal difference and then goals scored will be used in that order to determine the winner. Three bottom placed teams are relegated into the Division II League.
The Egyptian Premier League has two automatic spots for the CAF Champions League and the teams which finish in the top 2 at the end of the season will automatically qualify for the CAF Champions League.
When does the Egyptian Premier League start?
The Egyptian Premier League follows the European format because it usually starts in August and ends in May in the following year.
Performances over past few seasons in the Egypian Premier League?
From the 2002–03 season, only Zamalek and Al Ahly have won premierships during that period with Al Ahly bagging an impressive 13 championships and Zamalek bagging 3. Other teams like Ismaily and Al Masry have tried to dislodge these two from the summit but they have failed.