Cape Verdean Football Championship

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Cape Verdean Football Championship
Founded 1976
Country Cape Verde
Confederation CAF
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 1
Domestic cup(s) Cape Verdean Cup
Independence Cup
International cup(s) CAF Champions League
CAF Confederation Cup
Current champions CS Mindelense
Most championships CS Mindelense (12)
TV partners TCV and RTP África
2017 Cape Verdean Football Championships

The Cape Verdean Football Championship or the Campeonato Caboverdiano de Futebol is a football competition that was created in 1976 in Cape Verde. A local championship was founded in 1953 before independence, when the islands were still part of the Portuguese Empire.


Before independence[edit]

The first football championship that was not official took place in 1938 and were colonial and later provincial, only clubs from Sâo Vicente participated, they were actual insular championships. The first official championships began in 1953 and featured clubs from only the islands of Sâo Vicente (along with its surroundings) and Santiago took part. For the next 21 years they occurred and Académica do Mindelo won the first title, Mindelense was the second club to win a title and from 1956 the leader in the number of titles for the remainder of Portuguese rule, Académica Mindelo was second with three titles and Sporting Praia and Travadores with two, Castilho, Académica Praia and Boavista had a single title.

Since independence[edit]

No competition occurred during the end of Portuguese rule and the independence of Cape Verde. Clubs from other islands started to competed in the finals. Mindelense won the first title for an independent Cape Verde, the club lead in the most number of titles, in the first national championships, Mindelense faced Botafogo from Fogo, the first to feature a club outside Santiago or Sâo Vicente. The 1978 national championships was cancelled as the winner of Sotavento was undecided to challenge Mindelense, the winner of the Barlavento Islands, the finals system was introduced in 1979. Mindelense challenged Botafogo in the final match for the next two years, Botafogo won in 1980 and became the first championship outside Sâo Vicente and Santiago, Mindelense won again in 1981. Clubs from Boa Vista competed in 1980. In 1984, FC Derby faced Académica do Sal in the first finals with two clubs from the same island chain. SC Morabeza was the first club from Brava to compete in the national championships in 1985, the next champion from Brava to compete would not be until 1993. The group system was introuduced in around the 1990s and had two to three matches each. Clubs from the island of Maio would compete in 1990 and Santo Antão would compete in 1993. The triangular system was introduced and was used in 1994 and 1995, the finals was restored again, for one season in 1997, the final phase was introduced and the winner was decided on the highest number of points and Mindelense won, the finals restored again in 1998 and 1999, for the next three seasons, the winner was decided on a total number of points and sometimes goals, Sporting and Batuque shared a record total of 19 points won at the national championships, no other club surpassed it since. Since 2003, the winner would be decided to go to the playoffs on the number of points or goals from each of the two groups. One champion from each island participated in the championships, that time the Santiago and Santo Antâo championships split into two zones. The champion would play for the following season, sometimes a champion who wins a regional league in the follow season, a second placed club participates. In the 2005 season, Sporting Praia defeated Desportivo Estância Baixo 13-0 and made it the highest scoring match that still stands to date, also Sporting Praia scored the most number of goals in the championship numbering 35 and still stands today, Derby was second who scored 32, Derby would claim their third and last title for the club. Sporting Praia won their second consecutive title after defeating Académica do Mindelo under the away goals rule as both clubs were tied with a goal in the second final match. In 2015, the FCF chose to keep the group system instead of alterations probably including only the introduction of the first and second tier levels.[1][2] Mindelense has now a record twelve national titles since 2016, Sporting Praia is second since 2014. The island of Sâo Vicente has now 17 titles won by different clubs, three more than Santiago., two titles won by clubs from Boa Vista and one each from Fogo, Maio and Sal. For some seasons, some of the clubs from a regional league did not participated, its recent one was Brava in 2011.

In regular season competition, in 2008, Derby was the first club to have all five wins along with not a single loss or a draw after the creation of a six club group system, the second was SC Atlético on 2012, and the third was Mindelense in 2015 and also conceded only a goal while the club scored fourteen, the first after the creation of a six club group system, Derby did not conceded a goal in a regular season in 2001, also Derby won all five and was their second and recent time in 2015.

The 2017 season revived the triangular phase and is the first featuring three groups and together with a playoff system, the top three of each group will qualify into the semis along with the second placed club with the most points. The champion will compete in the 2018 CAF Champions League in the following season. As the Malian Premier League was abandoned for the 2017 season as the Malian Football Federation was dissolved, another participant would have be made (along with one from Senegal), the Malian competitions resumed in early May and it reduced to one participant. Despite the growing Cape Verdean economy, they could be a participant at the continental but a possibility there could be no participant. No word that the first placed second place of each group qualifies for the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup as no 2017 Cape Verdean Cup will take place. A possibility that the top six clubs stays in the national division in the following season and the group stage format may be in the new Second Division where the regional championships qualifies at that level or not in use.

The Santiago North Premier Division had disputes in the final match of the season ended a week before the start of the nationals, in 2016, it was between Scorpion Vermelho and Varandinha over Scorpion Vermelho's match, the award decision was revoked and Varandinha was regional champions and qualified into the nationals, the first round match was delayed due to that. Benfica Santa Cruz and some other clubs protested AJAC's round 16 win over Juventus Assomada where AJAC fielded a suspended player that that two yellow cards named Marco Aurélio. On May 7, AJAC became champions, the final result actually went to uncertainty especially after May 11 where the regional Judicial Council thought to made it official, Benfica de Santa Cruz were crowned Premier Division champions of the North Zone as well as AJAC.[3] AJAC did not field that suspended player, the chairman Amarildo protested that decision alongside other clubs and on May 17, the award was revoked and AJAC became regional champions of Santiago North.

League format[edit]

The championship is played out in a tournament between the champions of the nine islands (the 10th island, Santa Luzia is not inhabited, Santa Luzia and its islets are part of the São Vicente Premier Division).

Clubs 2016-17[edit]

Group A[edit]

Group B[edit]

Group C[edit]

Before independence[edit]

The competition featured a club from the island of São Vicente and a club from the island of Santiago and continued up to the end of Portuguese rule.

Performance by club[edit]

Club Winners Winning Years
CS Mindelense 7 1954, 1956, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1968, 1971
Académica do Mindelo 3 1953, 1964, 1967
Sporting Clube da Praia 2 1961, 1969
CD Travadores 2 1972, 1974
Castilho 1 1973
Académica da Praia 1 1965
Boavista 1 1963

Since independence[edit]

In the first few years. The competition would feature a club from Barlavento and a club from Sotavento. In the 1980s, it would change when a playoff system was introduced. The group system was formed around the mid 1990s.

Performance by club[edit]

Club Winners Winning years
CS Mindelense 12 1976, 1977, 1981, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1998, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Sporting Clube da Praia 9 1985, 1991, 1997, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
Boavista (Praia) 3 1987, 1995, 2010
Derby FC 3 1984, 2000, 2005
CD Travadores 2 1994, 1996
Académica do Mindelo 1 1989
Académica (Espargos) 1 1993
Académico Sal Rei 1 1983
Académico do Aeroporto 1 2003
GD Amarantes (Mindelo) 1 1999
Botafogo São Filipe 1 1980
Onze Unidos 1 2001
Sal-Rei FC 1 2004

Performance by island[edit]

Club Winners Winning years
São Vicente 17 1976, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Santiago 14 1985, 1987, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012
Sal 2 1993, 2003
Boa Vista 1 1983
Fogo 1 1980
Maio 1 1996


The greatest top scorers in the national championships was Zé di Tchecha of Sporting Praia who scored 14 goals. Gerson of SC Atlético scored 13 goals in the 2012 season.

Seasons in the Cape Verdean Football Championships[edit]

The number of seasons that each team (in alphabetical order) has played in the National Championships from 1976 until 2016 and currently plays in 2017. The teams in Bold participates in 7Cape Verdean Football Championships. Not all teams are listed, selected teams are:

Seasons Clubs
36 CS Mindelense
19 Académica Operária
14 Académico do Aeroporto do Sal
13 Académica do Fogo
12 Botafogo FC, FC Derby, Onze Unidos, Ultramarina Tarrafal de São Nicolau
11 Académico 83, Nô Pintcha
10 Associação Académica do Porto Novo, Sport Sal Rei Club, Vulcânicos
8 SC Santa Maria
7 Paulense
6 Académica do Sal
5 Juventude (Sal), Morabeza, Solpontense
4 Académica do Mindelo, Batuque FC, Rosariense Clube, Scorpion Vermelho, Sporting Clube da Brava
3 Académica da Calheta do Maio, Desportivo da Praia, Estrela dos Amadores, Juventude da Furna, Rosariense Clube, Sporting Clube do Porto Novo
2 Académica da Brava, Barreirense, Barcelona, Marítimo do Porto Novo, GD Palmeira de Santa Maria, SC Verdun Pedra de Lume
1 AJAC da Calheta, GD Amarantes, Beira Mar do Maio, Beira-Mar (Ribeira Grande), Beira-Mar do Tarrafal, Benfica de Santa Cruz, GD Corôa, Cutelinho, Desportivo Estância Baixo, Desportivo de Santa Cruz, GDRC Fiorentina, Os Foguetões, Flor Jovem da Calheta, Grémio Nhágar, Marìtimo, Onze Estrelas, Sanjoanense, CD Sinagoga, Spartak d'Aguadinha, Varandinha

Broadcasting rights[edit]

Its matches notably the major clubs are broadcast on RTC's TCV since the introduction of television to Cape Verde.


  1. ^ "Nacional de futebol mantém antigo figurino na nova época" [The National Championships Kept the Same Format for the New Season]. Expresso das Ilhas (in Portuguese). 16 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "FCF decide manter o mesmo figurino do Campeonato de Cabo Verde para a época 2015/16" [FCF Chose to Keep the Same Format in the Cape Verdean Championships for the 2015/16 Season]. Inforpress CV (in Portuguese). 16 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Futebol/Santiago Norte: Conselho Jurisdicional penaliza AJAC de Calheta e Benfica de Santa Cruz vai ao Nacional" [Judicial Council Barred AJAC da Calheta and Benfica de Santa Cruz Goes to National Championships] (in Portuguese). Inforpress. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  4. ^ First final competition that featured clubs from one island chain
  5. ^ Won through the final triangular phase
  6. ^ Won through the final triangular phase
  7. ^ The winner was decided on the highest points in the final phase that contained four clubs
  8. ^ The winner was decided on the highest points
  9. ^ The winner was decided on the highest points and goals
  10. ^ First finals competition that featured clubs from a single island and a single city
  11. ^ Last final playoff competition that featured a club each from the island chain
  12. ^ Last final playoff competition that featured two clubs from a single island and a single city
  13. ^ Last final playoff competition that featured two clubs from a same island chain

External links[edit]