|Founded||6 June 1930|
|Number of teams||10|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||First Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Albanian Cup
|International cup(s)||Champions League
|Current champions||KF Skënderbeu (6th title)
|Most championships||KF Tirana (24 titles)|
|2014–15 Albanian Superliga|
The Albanian Superliga (Albanian: Kategoria Superiore), is a professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the Albanian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Currently contested by 10 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Albanian First Division. Seasons currently run from August to May, with teams playing 36 matches each (playing each team in the league four times, twice at home and twice away) totalling 360 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings, typically on Wednesdays and Fridays.
The competition was originally founded in 1930 as the Albanian National Championship during the reign of King Zog, shortly after the creation of the Albanian Football Association. Since 1930, 43 clubs have competed in officially recognised competitions, while only 8 clubs have won the title: KF Tirana (24), Dinamo Tirana (18), Partizani Tirana (15), Vllaznia Shkodër (9), Skënderbeu Korçë (6), KF Elbasani (1), Flamurtari Vlorë (1) and Teuta Durrës (1). The current champions are Skënderbeu Korçë, who won their 5th consecutive title in 2014-15.
- 1 History
- 2 Current competition format
- 3 2014–15 Member Clubs
- 4 All-time champions, second placed and leading goalscorers
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Football was first introduced to Albania by an English-Maltese priest named Gut Ruter, who visited the Saverian college in Shkodër in 1908. Arguably, the first football club in Albania was Indipendenca, and it was founded in Shkodër in 1912 by Palokë Nika. The first 90 minute game to be played with two 45 minute halves took place in October 1913 Indipendenca Shkodër and the occupying Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy. The game is considered to be the first international game to be played in Albania, and it ended in a 2-1 loss for Indipendenca, with the captain and founder of the club Palokë Nika scoring the only goal for the Albanians.
The First Division in Albanian football was founded in 1930. Like many countries though, a Premier Division (Superliga) has been founded since then and First Division is now the second level in Albanian football. This became the case in 1998. The league has been dominated by clubs from Albania's capital city, Tirana, with only nineteen titles going elsewhere in the country. Nine of those nineteen titles have gone to Vllaznia Shkodër.
Albania 1st Football Tournament of 1911
It was claimed in the press in 2012 that a championship was played in 1911.
Championships of World War II
According to all information gathered in years from Albanian and foreign historians, players and veterans who lived these events, clear evidence proves the existence of these championships at that time, as well as the existence of three trophies given from AFA officials themselves. Particularly the 1942 Albanian Superliga had a nationwide participation - the first and the only one so far involving teams from both countries, Albania and Kosovo. KF Tirana have won two of these championships, 1939 Albanian Superliga & 1942 Albanian Superliga and KS Vllaznia have won 1940 Albanian Superliga. This would update the championship trophies won by these clubs to respectively 26 and 10 to present time.
Current competition format
There are 10 clubs in the Superior League. During the course of the season (from August to May) each club plays the others 4 times, twice at their home stadium and twice at that of their opponents, for a total of 36 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points are crowned champions. If points are equal, the head-to head record and then goal difference determine the winner. The two lowest placed teams are relegated to the Albanian First Division and the top two teams from there are promoted in their place.
Qualification for European competitions
As of the start of the 2013–14 Albanian Superliga season, qualification for European competitions is as follows: champions qualify for the 2nd qualifying round of the Champions League, second and third place qualifies for the 1st qualifying round of the Europa League. The Albanian Cup winners qualify for the 1st qualifying round of the Europa League.
- 41 (42) Montenegrin First League (5.250)
- 42 (39) First Macedonian Football League (5.250)
- 43 (44) Albanian Superliga (4.166)
- 44 (45) Maltese Premier League (3.958)
- 45 (43) Liechtenstein Football Cup (3.500)
Creation of the Pan-Albanian league
On 4 January 2013 the Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has called on the creation of a study group to create a Pan-Albanian football league, as well as pan-Albanian leagues in all sports, where teams from both Albania and Kosovo would participate. However Armand Duka, president of the FSHF, thinks that the idea cannot be realized given that the statutes of UEFA and FIFA would not allow such league.
2014–15 Member Clubs
|Apolonia Fier||Fier||First Division2nd in the||1945||2014-15||—|
|Elbasani||Elbasan||First Division1st in the||1930||2014–15||2||2005-06|
All-time champions, second placed and leading goalscorers
Note: from 1958 to 1991, KF Tirana and KS Elbasani were named respectively 17 Nëntori and Labinoti
Performance by club
- KF Tirana and KS Vllaznia would have respectively won 26 and 10 titles, should World War 2 championships played during years 1939-1942 be officially recognized from AFA. Read above for further information, details or references.
- Gjergj Kola. "Palokë Nika - personazhi historik i sportit Shqiptar" (in Albanian). Shkodra Sport. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- "Një historik i shkurtër i futbollit në Shkodër" (in Albanian). Vllaznia.al. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
- Sport Ekspres, 14 February 2012, page 7
- AFA's General Assembly: War championships are not legitimate[dead link]
- UEFA Country Ranking 2013 kassiesa.com, accessed 13 July 2013
- Asport (4 January 2013). "Berisha: Të krijohen Liga mbarëkombëtare në të gjitha sportet". Asport.
- Ora Info (6 January 2013). "BerishaDuka: Liga Mbarëkombëtare, ide e parealizueshme". Ora Info.
- (Italian) Albania - I capocannonieri del campionato, Calcio Mondiale Web
- War championships still unrecognized from AFA 26 if 2 WW2 Championships added
- War championships still unrecognized from AFA 10 if 1 WW2 Championships added
- FSHF website
- Kategoria Superiore at FIFA
- Superliga at soccerway.com
- League321.com - Albanian football league tables, records & statistics
- Albania - List of Champions at RSSSF.com
- Albanian football site