Iraqi Premier League

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Iraqi Premier League
Iraq FA (logo).jpg
Country  Iraq
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Founded 1974; 41 years ago (1974)
Number of teams 20
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to Iraq Division 1
Domestic cup(s) Iraq FA Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions Al Shorta (4 titles)
(2013–14 Iraqi Premier League)
Most championships Al Zawraa (12 titles)
2014–15 Iraqi Premier League

Iraqi Premier League[1] (Arabic: دوري النخبة العراقي, Dawri Al-Nokhba) is the highest league in the league system of Iraqi football and currently contains the top 20 Iraqi football clubs. It is translated into English as "The Premier League". It was founded in 1974 and is controlled by the Iraq Football Federation. The Iraqi Premier League is the top tier of an extensive pyramid-like structure, above the Iraq Division 1 and the lower local leagues. The current champions are Al Shorta.

It is currently sponsored by AsiaCell Telecom اسيا سيل and thus officially known as the Asia Cell Premier League. Outside Iraq it is commonly referred to as the Iraqi Premier League.


Prior to 1974, the league contained only Baghdad based teams. The league was named League of the Institutes and began its first season in 1962. During its 11 years, the Baghdad league was dominated by the Al-Shorta club as it won over half of the championships.

Current clubs (2014-15)[edit]

Team City Venue Capacity
Al-Zawraa Baghdad Al Zawraa Stadium 20,000
Al-Talaba Baghdad Al Talaba Stadium 6,000
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Baghdad Al Jawiya Stadium 10,000
Al-Shorta Baghdad Al-Shaab Stadium (temporary) 45,000
Al-Naft Baghdad Al Naft Stadium 3,000
Al-Karkh Baghdad Al Karkh Stadium 6,000
Baghdad Baghdad Baghdad FC Stadium 3,000
Masafi Al-Wasat Baghdad Al-Masafi Stadium 5,000
Al-Kahraba Baghdad Al Naft Stadium 3,000
Al-Hedood Baghdad Al-Hedood Stadium
Al-Minaa Basra Al Mina'a Stadium 10,000
Naft Al-Janoob Basra Naft Al-Janoob Stadium 4,000
Naft Maysan Amarah Al-Maimuna Stadium 10,000
Karbalaa Karbalaa Karbala Stadium 5,000
Najaf Najaf An Najaf Stadium 10,000
Naft Al-Wasat Najaf Naft Al-Wasat Stadium
Zakho Dohuk Duhok Stadium 6,000
Dohuk Duhok Duhok Stadium 20,000
Sulaymaniya Sulaymaniyah Sulaymaniyah Stadium 15,000
Erbil Erbil Franso Hariri Stadium 40,000


List of champions by season[edit]

Season Winner Number of titles
[Total titles]
1974–75 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1975–76 Al-Zawraa
1976–77 Al-Zawraa
1977–78 Al-Minaa
1978–79 Al-Zawraa
1979–80 Al-Shorta
1980–81 Al-Talaba
1981–82 Al-Talaba
1982–83 Salahadin
1983–84 Al-Jaish
1985–86 Al-Talaba
1986–87 Al-Karkh
1987–88 Al-Karkh
1988–89 Al-Karkh
1989–90 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1990–91 Al-Zawraa
1991–92 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1992–93 Al-Talaba
1993–94 Al-Zawraa
1994–95 Al-Zawraa
1995–96 Al-Zawraa
1996–97 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1997–98 Al-Shorta
1998–99 Al-Zawraa
1999–00 Al-Zawraa
2000–01 Al-Zawraa
2001–02 Al-Talaba
2004–05 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2005–06 Al-Zawraa
2006–07 Erbil
2007–08 Erbil
2008–09 Erbil
2009–10 Duhok
2010–11 Al-Zawraa
2011–12 Erbil
2012–13 Al-Shorta
2013–14 Al-Shorta

Most successful clubs[edit]

Team Winners Runners-up
Al-Zawraa 12 (1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11) 6 (1974–75, 1977–78, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1996–97, 2007–08)
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 5 (1974–75, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2004–05) 9 (1975–76, 1981–82, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1999–00, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2006–07)
Al-Talaba 5 (1980–81, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1992–93, 2001–02) 7 (1976–77, 1982–83, 1983–84, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1998–99, 2009–10)
Erbil 4 (2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2011–12) 3 (2010–11, 2012–13, 2013–14)
Al-Shorta 4 (1979–80, 1997–98, 2012–13, 2013–14) 2 (1978–79, 1980–81)
Al-Karkh 3 (1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89) 2 (1985–86, 1989–90)
Duhok 1 (2009–10) 1 (2011–12)
Al-Minaa 1 (1977–78) 1 (2004–05)
Al-Jaish 1 (1983–84)
Salahadin 1 (1982–83)

Competition format[edit]


Since the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime, the Iraqi league has made some dramatic changes. The league now starts in October and ends in July. Unlike the upper division of most countries' football leagues, Iraq's first league is split into 3 groups as planned in the beginning of the season. But by February 15, 2007, the league split the Baghdad group into two groups since teams could not coordinate games due to violence in the capital. In the first postwar year, the league split 28 teams into 4 groups of seven, based on region: North, South, and 2 Baghdad groups. In the 2006 - 2007 season, the league shrunk to 4 groups with a total of 23 teams.

The top 4 teams from each group moves on to the next round, while the last team of each group is relegated to the Iraq's 2nd division league (in the 2004-05 season, each group was forced to relegate 3 teams because the league had too many teams (35)). The 12 advancing teams are then split into 4 groups of 3, where each team plays the other twice, once home and once away. The first team in each of the 4 groups advances to the next round (the semi-finals.) Each of the 4 remaining teams is then paired with another team, where they will play a home and away match. The 2 winners advance to the championship for a single Baghdad venue match, while the two losing teams play for 3rd place.

In the 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons the league was played in the normal system where there is a single league and everybody plays each other twice. In 2011-12, there were 20 teams. That number reduced by two teams to 18 in 2012-13 when Al Shorta won the league. The 2013-14 season featured two less teams again, this time there were 16 clubs in the league and Al Shorta won it again. The 2014-15 season once again features 20 teams, however it has returned to a group stage format.

Qualification for Asian competitions[edit]

The champions, currently Al Shorta, advance to the qualifying play-off for the AFC Champions League. Second place plays in the AFC Cup and third and fourth place in the UAFA Club Cup. If the champions fail to qualify to the AFC Champions League, they play in the AFC Cup alongside the second placed team, but if they do qualify to the AFC Champions League, the third placed team plays in the AFC Cup alongside the second placed team and the fourth and fifth placed teams plays in the UAFA Cup. The Iraqi premier league is supplied by official Adidas balls and referee kits.


All-time top scorers[edit]

Rank Player Goals
1 Iraq Sahib Abbas 175
2 Iraq Karim Saddam 165
3 Iraq Ali Hashim 162
4 Iraq Younis Abid-Ali 153
5 Iraq Ahmed Radhi 136
6 Iraq Alaa Kadhim 134
7 Iraq Amjad Radhi 116
8 Iraq Ahmed Khodair 115
9 Iraq Waleed Dhahid 112
10 Iraq Muayed Joodi 109
10 Iraq Natik Hashim 109

Golden Boot award[edit]

This award is awarded to the top goalscorer of the league that year.

Season Top scorer Club Goals
2004–05 Iraq Mustafa Karim Al-Kahraba 16
2005–06 Iraq Sahib Abbas Karbalaa 17
2006–07 Iraq Ahmad Salah Erbil 11
2007–08 Iraq Asaad Abdul-Nabi Al-Kahraba 14
2008–09 Iraq Ahmad Salah Erbil 15
2009–10 Iraq Amjad Radhi Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 31
2010–11 Iraq Luay Salah Erbil 17
2011–12 Iraq Hammadi Ahmad Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 25
2012–13 Iraq Amjad Radhi Erbil 25
2013–14 Iraq Ali Salah Al-Talaba 14

Winning managers[edit]

last update: June 18, 2014

Season Nationality Winning manager Club
1974-75  Iraq Abdelilah Mohammed Hassan Al-Tayaran
1975-76  Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa
1976-77  Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa
1977-78  Iraq Jamil Hanoon Al-Minaa
1978-79  Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa
1979-80  Iraq Douglas Aziz Al-Shorta
1980-81  Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Talaba
1981-82  Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Talaba
1982-83  Iraq Wathiq Naji Salahadin
1983-84  Iraq Munthir Al-Waadh Al-Jaish
1985-86  Iraq Yahya Alwan Al-Talaba
1986-87  Iraq Nasrat Nassir Al-Rasheed
1987-88  Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Rasheed
1988-89  Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Rasheed
1989-90  Iraq Amer Jamil Al-Tayaran
1990-91  Iraq Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa
1991-92  Iraq Adil Yousef Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1992-93  Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Talaba
1993-94  Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Zawraa
1994-95  Iraq Hadi Mutanish Al-Zawraa
1995-96  Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa
1996-97  Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1997-98  Iraq Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed Al-Shorta
1998-99  Iraq Amer Jamil Al-Zawraa
1999-00  Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa
2000-01  Iraq Sabah Abdul-Jalil Al-Zawraa
2001-02  Iraq Thayer Ahmad Al-Talaba
2004-05  Iraq Sabah Abdul-Jalil Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2005-06  Iraq Salih Radhi Al-Zawraa
2006-07  Iraq Salman, AkramAkram Salman Erbil
2007-08  Iraq Thayer Ahmad Erbil
2008-09  Iraq Thayer Ahmad Erbil
2009-10  Iraq Qasim, BasimBasim Qasim Dohuk
2010-11  Iraq , Radhi ShenaishilRadhi Shenaishil Al-Zawraa
2011-12  Syria Mahrous, NizarNizar Mahrous Erbil
2012-13  Iraq Thayer Jassam Al-Shorta
2013-14  Brazil Lorival Santos Al-Shorta

Multiple winning managers[edit]

last update: June 18, 2014

No. Winning manager Club No. titles
1 Iraq Thayer Ahmad Erbil, Al-Talaba 3
Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Karkh, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2 Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa 2
Iraq Amer Jamil Al-Zawraa, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Zawraa, Al-Talaba
Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Talaba, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa

Winning captains[edit]

last update , 2014

Season Nationality Winning captain Club
1974-75  Iraq Mejbil Fartous Al-Tayaran
1975-76  Iraq Hazim Jassam Al-Zawraa
1976-77  Iraq Hazim Jassam Al-Zawraa
1977-78  Iraq Abdul-Razzaq Ahmed Al-Minaa
1978-79  Iraq Hazim Jassam Al-Zawraa
1979-80  Iraq Raad Hammoudi Al-Shorta
1980-81  Iraq Muthanna Hamed Al-Talaba
1981-82  Iraq Jamil Ali Al-Talaba
1982-83  Iraq Samir Shaker Salahadin
1983-84  Iraq Hassan Farhan Al-Jaish
1985-86  Iraq Hussein Saeed Al-Talaba
1986-87  Iraq Adnan Dirjal Al-Rasheed
1987-88  Iraq Samir Shaker Al-Rasheed
1988-89  Iraq Ahmed Radhi Al-Rasheed
1989-90  Iraq Natik Hashim Al-Tayaran
1990-91  Iraq Ahmed Radhi Al-Zawraa
1991-92  Iraq Samir Kadhim Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1992-93  Iraq Ali Hussein Shihab Al-Talaba
1993-94  Iraq Ibrahim Abid-Nadir Al-Zawraa
1994-95  Iraq Salam Hashim Al-Zawraa
1995-96  Iraq Jalil Zaidan Al-Zawraa
1996-97  Iraq Akram Emmanuel Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
1997-98  Iraq Saad Qais Al-Shorta
1998-99  Iraq Ahmed Radhi Al-Zawraa
1999-00  Iraq Laith Hussein Al-Zawraa
2000-01  Iraq Mohammed Jassim Al-Zawraa
2001-02  Iraq Habib Jafar Al-Talaba
2004-05  Iraq Waleed Dhahad Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
2005-06  Iraq Haidar Mahmoud Al-Zawraa
2006-07  Iraq Kayfi Abdul-Rahman Erbil
2007-08  Iraq Rafid Badr Al-Deen Erbil
2008-09  Iraq Ahmad Salah Erbil
2009-10  Iraq Khalid Mushir Dohuk
2010-11  Iraq Hesham Mohammed Al-Zawraa
2011-12  Iraq Sarhang Mohsen Erbil
2012-13  Iraq Nashat Akram Al-Shorta
2013-14  Iraq Hussein Abdul-Wahed Al-Shorta

Multiple winning captains[edit]

last update: June 18, 2014

No. Winning captain Club(s) No. titles
1 Iraq Hazim Jassam Al-Zawraa 3
Iraq Ahmed Radhi Al-Rasheed, Al-Zawraa
2 Iraq Samir Shaker Salahadin, Al-Rasheed 2

See also[edit]


External links[edit]