Premier Soccer League

Premier Soccer League
Premier Soccer League (PSL)
Countries  South Africa
Confederation CAF
Founded 1996
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to National First Division
Domestic cup(s) Nedbank Cup
Telkom Knockout
International cup(s) Champions League
Confederation Cup
Current champions Orlando Pirates
Most championships Mamelodi Sundowns FC (5)
TV partners Supersport, SABC1
2011–12 Premier Soccer League

Premier Soccer League (PSL) is the trading name of the National Soccer League (NSL) of South Africa. The top league is the ABSA Premiership, sponsored by ABSA. The next highest league is the National First Division.

The PSL is currently ranked 14th in Africa, according to CAF's 5-Year Ranking



The PSL was founded by Kaizer Motaung, Irvin Khoza, Raymond Hack and Jomo Sono, in 1996.
Manning Rangers were the first to be crowned champions of the PSL in 1997 when the Gordon Igesund-coached side was stunning all and sundry by winning the title ahead of a number of more fancied opponents.

From 1998 to 2000 the league was dominated by Sundowns, who pulled off a hat-trick of titles.

In 2001, Igesund moved to Orlando Pirates and helped the Buccaneers secure the title. The following season he moved to Cape Town-based Santos, and steered it to win the league title, thus becoming the first coach to win the championship with three different clubs.

The 11 April 2001 marked a dark chapter in South African history when 43 people lost their lives and 158 others were injured in a stampede during a match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at an overcrowded Ellis Park Stadium.

The league was reduced from 18 to 16 teams after the end of the 2001-02 season to avoid fixture congestion, causing two teams, Ria Stars and Free State Stars, to be disbanded.

In 2004, a match-fixing scandal rocked South African soccer. An investigation codenamed "Operation Dribble" was launched by the South African police in June 2004. More than 40 arrests were made, ranging from club bosses to match commissioners, referees and their assistants.

Kazier Chiefs successfully defended their league title in 2005 after they won the prestigious trophy in 2004 for the first time in a decade.

The 2005-06 season saw Mamelodi Sundowns capturing the title for the fourth time.

In 2007, the PSL signed a television deal with SuperSport worth R1.6-billion. It is the biggest sporting deal in the history of South Africa, and it took the PSL into the top 15 ranked leagues in the world in terms of commercial broadcast deals.

In the same year ABSA replaced Castle Lager as name sponsor.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 Supersport United won a hat-rick of title.

The league currently has teams in most of the countries largest cities, with Port Elizabeth being the obvious exception. The city has not had a team in the PSL since the 2008–09 Premier Soccer League, when the city's Bay United F.C. were relegated.

The league is rated as the 14th best in Africa in 2011. This is according to the CAF 5-Year Ranking system. The provisional 2012 rankings currently place them as slipping to 15th, below Niger.


Since its inception in 1996, the Premier Soccer League has been sponsored. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:

  • 1996-07: Castle Lager (Castle Premiership)
  • 2007-: ABSA (ABSA Premiership)


There are sixteen clubs in the Premier League. During the course of a season (which lasts from August to May) each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents for a total of 30 games for each club. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a defeat.

The champion of the Premier League and the second placed team advance to the MTN CAF Champions League, the third placed team, and the Nedbank Cup champions, advance to the CAF Confederation Cup, which is the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

The bottom team in the ABSA Premiership is automatically relegated. The team finishing 15th on the log enters a playoff with the loser of the promotion playoff between the winner of the Coastal Stream and the Inland Stream and the two teams who ended the season in second spot in the two streams.

Media coverage

The league's main broadcast partner is Super Sport. Supersport have in turn sub leased the rights to certain matches to the SABC, so that matches can be shown on public television.

Supersport broadcast matches on Wednesday and Friday nights, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays. The SABC broadcast Wednesday afternoon matches, as well as Saturday and Sunday matches.

2011-12 season



Past seasons

Previous Winners, Runners-up and Relegated/Promoted Teams

Season Winner Runner-up Relegated at end of season Promoted at end of season
1996-97 Manning Rangers Kaizer Chiefs Michau Warriors; Witbank Aces Santos, African Wanderers
1997-98 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs African Wanderers; Real Rovers Seven Stars, Dynamos
1998-99 Mamelodi Sundowns Kaizer Chiefs Dynamos; Vaal Professionals African Wanderers, Tembisa Classic
1999-00 Mamelodi Sundowns Orlando Pirates AmaZulu; Mother City Golden Arrows, Ria Stars
2000-01 Orlando Pirates Kaizer Chiefs Bloemfontein Celtic; African Wanderers Amazulu, Black Leopards
2001-02 Santos Supersport United AmaZulu; Tembisa Classic African Wanderers, Dynamos
2002-03 Orlando Pirates Supersport United Bush Bucks; African Wanderers Amazulu, Silver Stars
2003-04 Kaizer Chiefs Ajax Cape Town Hellenic; Zulu Royals Bush Bucks, Bloemfontein Celtic
2004-05 Kaizer Chiefs Orlando Pirates Manning Rangers; Wits University Free State Stars, Tembisa Classic
2005-06 Mamelodi Sundowns Orlando Pirates Free State Stars; Bush Bucks Wits University, Benoni Premier United
2006-07 Mamelodi Sundowns Platinum Stars Maritzburg United Free State Stars
2007-08 Supersport United Ajax Cape Town Black Leopards; Jomo Cosmos Maritzburg United, Bay United
2008-09 Supersport United Orlando Pirates Bay United; Thanda Royal Zulu Jomo Cosmos, Mpumalanga Black Aces
2009-10 Supersport United Mamelodi Sundowns Jomo Cosmos Vasco da Gama
2010-11 Orlando Pirates F.C. Ajax Cape Town Mpumalanga Black Aces, Vasco da Gama Jomo Cosmos, Black Leopards

Most Wins

Team Wins
Mamelodi Sundowns 5
Orlando Pirates 3
Supersport United 3
Kaizer Chiefs 2
Manning Rangers 1
Santos 1

Manager records

League winning managers

Season Winner Manager
1996-97 Manning Rangers South Africa Gordon Igesund
1997-98 Mamelodi Sundowns Romania Ted Dumitru
1998-99 Mamelodi Sundowns Romania Ted Dumitru
1999-00 Mamelodi Sundowns Serbia Paul Dolezar
2000-01 Orlando Pirates South Africa Gordon Igesund
2001-02 Santos South Africa Gordon Igesund
2002-03 Orlando Pirates Zimbabwe Roy Barreto
2003-04 Kaizer Chiefs Romania Ted Dumitru
2004-05 Kaizer Chiefs Romania Ted Dumitru
2005-06 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Neil Tovey
2006-07 Mamelodi Sundowns South Africa Gordon Igesund
2007-08 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2008-09 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2009-10 Supersport United South Africa Gavin Hunt
2010-11 Orlando Pirates Netherlands Ruud Krol

League records

  • Most PSL titles: 5 – Mamelodi Sundowns (1997/98), (1998/99), (1999/00), (2005/06), (2006/07)
  • Biggest PSL win: 8-1 – Supersport United vs Zulu Royals (2003/04)
  • Most goals scored in a season: 73 – Kaizer Chiefs (1998/99)
  • Most goals conceded in a season: 85 – Mother City (1999/00)
  • Most points in a season: 75 – Mamelodi Sundowns (1999/00)

League Participants

1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
African Wanderers African Wanderers African Wanderers
Amazulu AmaZulu Amazulu Amazulu
Ajax Cape Town
Bay United
Benoni Premier United
Bidvest Wits University
Black Leopards
Bloemfontein Celtic Bloemfontein Celtic
Cape Town Spurs
Dynamos Dynamos
Free State Stars Free State Stars Free State Stars
Jomo Cosmos Jomo Cosmos
Kaizer Chiefs
Lamontville Golden Arrows
Mamelodi Sundowns
Manning Rangers
Maritzburg United Maritzburg United
Moroka Swallows
Mother City
Mpumalanga Black Aces
Orlando Pirates
Platinum Stars
Qwa Qwa Stars
Real Rovers
Ria Stars
Seven Stars
Silver Stars
Supersport United
Thembisa Classic Thembisa Classic
Thanda Royal Zulu
Umtata Bush Bucks Umata Bush Bucks
Vaal Professionals
Vasco Da Gama
Witbank Aces
Wits University
Zulu Royals
1996/97 1997/98 1998/99 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
18 teams 18 teams 18 teams 18 teams 18 teams 18 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams 16 teams

Top goalscorers

Season Player Goals Team Source
1996–97 Zimbabwe Wilfred Mugeyi 22 Bush Bucks
1997–98 South Africa Daniel Mudau 24 Sundowns
1998–99 South Africa Pollen Ndlanya 21 Orlando Pirates
1999–00 South Africa Dennis Lota 18 Orlando Pirates [1]
2000–01 Zimbabwe Gilbert Mushangazhike 19 Manning Rangers [2]
2001–02 South Africa Ishmael Maluleke 18 Manning Rangers [3]
2002–03 South Africa Lesley Manyathela 18 Orlando Pirates [4]
2003–04 South Africa Jackie Ledwaba 14 Zulu Royals [5]
2004–05 Zambia Collins Mbesuma 25 Kaizer Chiefs [6]
2005–06 Senegal Mame Niang 14 Swallows [7]
2006–07 Zambia Chris Katongo 15 Jomo Cosmos [8]
2007–08 Zambia James Chamanga 14 Swallows [9]
2008–09 South Africa Richard Henyekane 19 Golden Arrows [10]
2009–10 South Africa Katlego Mphela 17 Sundowns
2010–11 Zimbabwe Knowledge Musona 15 Kaizer Chiefs

Notable Current Players

Footballers who currently play for PSL clubs, and have represented their country at senior international level:

Current Products

Footballers who have previously played for PSL clubs, and currently play for clubs in other confederations. Players are currently at these teams.

Founder Members

See also

External links


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