Cypriot First Division

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Cypriot First Division
Country  Cyprus
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1934; 82 years ago (1934)
Number of teams 14
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Cypriot Second Division
Domestic cup(s) Cypriot Cup
Cypriot Super Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions APOEL (25th title)
(2015–16)
Most championships APOEL
(25 titles)
TV partners CytaVision
PrimeTel
Website CFA
2016–17 Cypriot First Division

The Cypriot First Division (Greek: Πρωτάθλημα Α΄ Κατηγορίας) is the top tier football league competition in Cyprus, run by the Cyprus Football Association. Since February 2016, it is sponsored by Cyta and thus officially known as Cyta Championship.[1] The league is contested by 14 teams and runs from August to May, with the three lowest-placed teams relegated to the Cypriot Second Division and replaced by the top three teams in that division.

History[edit]

Football was introduced to Cyprus early in the 20th century by the British. Initially played in the island's schools, it proved hugely popular and a number of clubs were duly formed.

Since 1911, when Anorthosis Famagusta FC was founded, many clubs were established and in 1932 the Cypriot Championship began annually at first unofficially. Every season, the championship was organized by a different football club which caused some conflicts between some of the teams.

As football became more established, the clubs were united in agreeing that an official body was needed to regulate the sport. And in September 1934, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) was formed and the Cypriot Championship and Cup began to take place annually.[2] The first Champions of Cyprus were Trast AC in 1935 but the club folded three years later. The 1930s were dominated by APOEL, who won five championship in a row until 1940. Like other Championships in the World, the Cypriot Championship was interrupted, due to World War II from 1941 until 1945.

World War II was followed by the Greek Civil War, which caused a lot of fanaticism between Greeks. Since the majority of the island are Greek Cypriots, it had a lot of influence in their society too, including sport. In 1948, some clubs were involved in politics and criticized the left-wing as responsible for the War. Several footballers from those clubs criticized their club but that followed the expulsion of those players from their teams. Those players then went on to help establish new clubs with their own Association and their own football competitions. Until 1953 there were two separate football Championships in Cyprus and two different Associations. However, in 1953, the two Associations unified Cypriot football, and the teams which were established in 1948 under the separate association, were allowed to become members of the CFA. Only Omonia was accepted into the First Division. And due to the addition of more clubs that season, relegation and promotion began in Cypriot football.

The Cypriot Championship unification, lasted for only two seasons. In 1955, Çetinkaya Türk S.K., who had been the only Turkish Cypriot team playing in the Cypriot First Division since 1934–35, withdrew from the Championship and with other Turkish Cypriot teams, established the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation, with its own competitions. The reason behind this was political, as the Turkish Cypriot leadership were supporting the partition of the island. However, this Federation was never recognized and no team of that federation could play in international competitions.

The independence of Cyprus in 1960, was followed by full membership for the Cyprus Football Association to UEFA in 1962. From 1963, the champions of the Cyprus, could compete in the European Champions Cup and the Cup winners in the European Cup Winners Cup. Since 1971, the runners up in the Greek Cypriot First Division can compete in the UEFA Cup. From 1967 until 1974, the Greek Cypriot Champions were promoted to the Greek First National Division. Greek Cypriot teams were relegated every season from the Alpha Ethniki, apart from 1974, when APOEL managed to remain in the Greek Championship which meant that Cyprus would have two teams in Alpha Ethniki. However, due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus that year, APOEL and AC Omonoia (the champion of Cyprus for 1974) withdrew from the League.

The Greek Cypriot championship was abandoned in the 1963–64 season due to the bicommunal conflicts between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Omonia dominated the Greek Cypriot Championship in the 1970s and 1980s, winning 12 championship in 13 seasons. In 1976, Omonia player Sotiris Kaiafas was the top scorer not only in Cyprus but also in Europe with 39 goals winning the European Golden Boot. Anorthosis Famagusta dominated Cyprus football between 1995 and 2000, losing the championship during those years only once in 1996.

The last ten years (2006–present), APOEL had been the most successful club by winning more than one championship every two years, counting seven championship titles in total.

Format[edit]

Current format[edit]

At present, 14 clubs compete in the league. Each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, which makes a total of 26 games for each club. The last two teams (of the first round) are relegated directly to the Second Division. Since 2007–08 season the league has a second round play-off system. In the second round the first 12 (out of 14) teams are separated into two groups of six teams according to their position at the end of the first round. The points from the first round are carried to the second round and the teams play each other twice (10 more matches). At the end of the second round, the bottom team of the relegation group is relegated to the Second Division.

Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. The rule for three points for a win has been applied since 1992, before then two points were awarded for a win. Teams are ranked by total points, the matches between the teams, then goal difference and then goals scored. If teams are still equal they are deemed to occupy the same position. If the champions, teams for relegation or qualification for other competitions thus cannot be decided, a series of play-off match(es) are played between the affected teams, although this has yet to occur. Since the establishment of the league and until 2005–06, goal difference had the biggest ranking after total points. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned as champions. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into the Cypriot Second Division and the top three teams from the 2nd Division promoted in their place.

The league champions are entitled to entrance in the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round. The winner of the Cypriot Cup automatically enters the UEFA Europa League third round. The runner-up and third placed team in the league enters the UEFA Europa League on the first qualifying round. If the cup winners are also league champions, then the fourth placed team of the league are granted a UEFA Europa League berth.

The First Division has had 14 teams from 1989 until today, apart from the 1994–95 season when the league was reduced to 13 teams and the 2014–15 season when the league was reduced to 12 teams. For some years there has been discussion about reducing the number of teams in the first division. This is partly driven by some of the mid-table clubs not being involved for much of the season in either the Championship or qualification for Europe, or relegation. In the 2014–15 season, the Cypriot First Division teams were reduced from 14 to 12, but the next season (2015–16) they were increased again to 14.

Previous formats[edit]

From 2007–08 until 2012–13 season, in the second round the first 12 (out of 14) teams were separated into three groups of four teams according to their position at the end of the first round. For the 2013–14 season, in the second round the first 12 (out of 14) teams were separated into two groups of six teams according to their position at the end of the first round. The last two teams of the first round were relegated directly to the B1 Division and the bottom two teams of the relegation group also. The points from the first round were carried to the second round and the teams played each other twice.

In the 2014–15 season, only 12 clubs competed in the league. Each club played the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, which made a total of 22 games for each club. In the second round the 12 teams were separated into two groups of six teams according to their position at the end of the first round. The points from the first round were carried to the second round and the teams played each other twice (10 more matches). At the end of the second round, the bottom team of the relegation group was relegated to the Second Division.

2016–17 Clubs[edit]

Club Location 2015–16 season
AEK Larnaca Larnaca 2nd
AEL Limassol Limassol 7th
AEZ Zakakiou Zakaki 2D, 2nd
Anagennisi Deryneia Deryneia 2D, 3rd
Anorthosis Larnaca 5th
APOEL Nicosia 1st
Apollon Limassol Limassol 3rd
Aris Limassol Limassol 10th
Doxa Katokopias Katokopia 9th
Ermis Aradippou Larnaca 8th
Ethnikos Achna Achna 11th
Karmiotissa Pano Polemidia 2D, 1st
Nea Salamina Larnaca 6th
Omonia Nicosia 4th

League name history[edit]

  • 1934–2007 : Pancypriot Championship
  • 2007–2012 : Marfin Laiki League
  • 2012 00000: Laiki Bank League
  • 2012–2013 : First Division Championship
  • 2013–2014 : Glafcos Clerides Championship
  • 2014–2016 : First Division Championship
  • 2016–2019 : Cyta Championship

Champions[edit]

Season Winner[3][4] Runner-up
1934–35 Trast AC Çetinkaya Türk
1935–36 APOEL Trast AC
1936–37 APOEL Trast AC
1937–38 APOEL Trast AC
1938–39 APOEL EPA Larnaca
1939–40 APOEL Pezoporikos Larnaca
1940–41 AEL Limassol APOEL
1941–44
Suspended due to World War II
1944–45 EPA Larnaca APOEL
1945–46 EPA Larnaca APOEL
1946–47 APOEL EPA Larnaca
1947–48 APOEL AEL Limassol
1948–49 APOEL Anorthosis Famagusta
1949–50 Anorthosis Famagusta EPA Larnaca
1950–51 Çetinkaya Türk APOEL
1951–52 APOEL EPA Larnaca
1952–53 AEL Limassol Pezoporikos Larnaca
1953–54 Pezoporikos Larnaca APOEL
1954–55 AEL Limassol Pezoporikos Larnaca
1955–56 AEL Limassol APOEL
1956–57 Anorthosis Famagusta Pezoporikos Larnaca
1957–58 Anorthosis Famagusta Pezoporikos Larnaca
1958–59
Not Held
1959–60 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
1960–61 Omonia Anorthosis Famagusta
1961–62 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
1962–63 Anorthosis Famagusta APOEL
1963–64
Championship Abandoned
1964–65 APOEL Olympiakos Nicosia
1965–66 Omonia Olympiakos Nicosia
1966–67 Olympiakos Nicosia APOEL
1967–68 AEL Limassol Omonia
1968–69 Olympiakos Nicosia Omonia
1969–70 EPA Larnaca Pezoporikos Larnaca
1970–71 Olympiakos Nicosia Digenis Morphou
1971–72 Omonia EPA Larnaca
1972–73 APOEL Olympiakos Nicosia
1973–74 Omonia Pezoporikos Larnaca
1974–75 Omonia Enosis Neon Paralimni
1975–76 Omonia APOEL
1976–77 Omonia APOEL
1977–78 Omonia APOEL
1978–79 Omonia APOEL
1979–80 APOEL Omonia
1980–81 Omonia APOEL
1981–82 Omonia Pezoporikos Larnaca
1982–83 Omonia Anorthosis Famagusta
1983–84 Omonia Apollon Limassol
1984–85 Omonia APOEL
1985–86 APOEL Omonia
1986–87 Omonia APOEL
1987–88 Pezoporikos Larnaca APOEL
1988–89 Omonia Apollon Limassol
1989–90 APOEL Omonia
1990–91 Apollon Limassol Anorthosis Famagusta
1991–92 APOEL Anorthosis Famagusta
1992–93 Omonia Apollon Limassol
1993–94 Apollon Limassol Anorthosis Famagusta
1994–95 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
1995–96 APOEL Anorthosis Famagusta
1996–97 Anorthosis Famagusta Apollon Limassol
1997–98 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
1998–99 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
1999-00 Anorthosis Famagusta Omonia
2000–01 Omonia Olympiakos Nicosia
2001–02 APOEL Anorthosis Famagusta
2002–03 Omonia Anorthosis Famagusta
2003–04 APOEL Omonia
2004–05 Anorthosis Famagusta APOEL
2005–06 Apollon Limassol Omonia
2006–07 APOEL Omonia
2007–08 Anorthosis Famagusta APOEL
2008–09 APOEL Omonia
2009–10 Omonia APOEL
2010–11 APOEL Omonia
2011–12 AEL Limassol APOEL
2012–13 APOEL Anorthosis Famagusta
2013–14 APOEL AEL Limassol
2014–15 APOEL AEK Larnaca
2015–16 APOEL AEK Larnaca

Performances[edit]

Performance by club[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Winning seasons
APOEL 25 20 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1965, 1973, 1980, 1986, 1990, 1992, 1996, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Omonia 20 16 1961, 1966, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2001, 2003, 2010
Anorthosis 13 10 1950, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005, 2008
AEL Limassol 6 2 1941, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1968, 2012
EPA Larnaca 3 5 1945, 1946, 1970
Olympiakos Nicosia 3 4 1967, 1969, 1971
Apollon Limassol 3 4 1991, 1994, 2006
Pezoporikos Larnaca 2 8 1954, 1988
Trast AC 1 3 1935
Çetinkaya Türk 1 1 1951
AEK Larnaca 2
Digenis Morphou 1
Enosis Neon Paralimni 1

Performance by city[edit]

City Winners Club(s)
Nicosia
50
APOEL (25)
Omonia (20)
Olympiakos Nicosia (3)
Trast AC (1)
Çetinkaya Türk (1)
Famagusta
13
Anorthosis (13)
Limassol
9
AEL Limassol (6)
Apollon Limassol (3)
Larnaca
5
EPA Larnaca (3)
Pezoporikos Larnaca (2)

Participations per club[edit]

So far, 41 different teams participated in the Cypriot First Division. Neither team has participated in all leagues (78 in total, including the period 2016–17) for various reasons (participation in the Greek league, relegation at the Second Division, teams dissolution and merge or leaving Cyprus Football Association).

Fifteen of the 41 teams are no longer in the Cypriot leagues. Among them is the only Turkish-Cypriot team that participated in the first division, Çetinkaya which left the Cyprus Football Association, but also the Armenian AYMA and Orfeas Nicosia that participate now in the amateur tournaments. Pezoporikos and EPA merged creating AEK Larnaca, Evagoras and APOP merged creating AEP Paphos, AEK Kouklia and AEP Paphos merged creating Pafos FC. Keravnos disbanded its football section, APOP Kinyras, Atromitos Yeroskipou, Onisilos Sotira and Alki Larnaca dissolved due to financial problems and the first champion of Cyprus Trast AC ceased to exist.

The participations per club table indicates the total number of seasons each club participated in the Cypriot First Division:[5]

Team Participations
AEL Limassol 76
APOEL 76
Anorthosis Famagusta 71
Olympiakos Nicosia 66
Omonia 61
Apollon Limassol 58
Nea Salamina 55
Aris Limassol 52
EPA Larnaca 50
Pezoporikos Larnaca 49
Enosis Neon Paralimni 46
Team Participations
Alki Larnaca 43
Ethnikos Achna 30
AEK Larnaca 22
APOP Paphos 19
Evagoras Paphos 18
Çetinkaya Türk 18
Digenis Akritas Morphou 15
Doxa Katokopias 13
Omonia Aradippou 13
AYMA 11
Team Participations
Ermis Aradippou 11
AEP Paphos 10
ASIL Lysi 8
Anagennisi Deryneia 7
APEP 7
APOP Kinyras 5
Keravnos 4
Orfeas Nicosia 4
Trast AC 4
Ayia Napa 4
Team Participations
Ethnikos Assia 3
Chalkanoras Idaliou 2
AEK Kouklia 1
Atromitos Yeroskipou 1
THOI Lakatamia 1
Onisilos Sotira 1
Othellos Athienou 1
AEZ Zakakiou 1
Karmiotissa 1
Pafos FC 1

League or status at 2016–17:

2016–17 Cypriot First Division
2016–17 Cypriot Second Division
2016–17 Cypriot Third Division
Amateur Leagues
No longer affiliated with CFA
Clubs that no longer exist

All-time Cypriot First Division table (1934–35 until 2015–16)[edit]

The All-time Cypriot First Division table is a ranking of all Cypriot football clubs based on their performance in the Cypriot First Division.[6] The points are the sum of the points of all seasons, despite the point system of the season. The 1963–64 Cypriot First Division season is not included because the championship was abandoned.

Rank Club Years Points G W D. L. GF. GA. GD.
1 APOEL 75 3061 1713 1021 369 323 3690 1728 1962
2 Omonia 60 2917 1556 974 320 262 3410 1435 1974
3 Anorthosis Famagusta 70 2794 1705 865 424 416 3117 1974 1144
4 Apollon Limassol 57 2313 1517 676 398 443 2530 1890 640
5 AEL Limassol 75 2311 1719 704 424 591 2822 2412 410
6 Nea Salamina 54 1697 1395 464 366 565 1940 2125 -185
7 Olympiakos Nicosia 66 1664 1465 491 351 623 2209 2694 -485
8 Enosis Neon Paralimni 46 1459 1253 426 365 462 1663 1699 -36
9 Pezoporikos Larnaca 49 1432 1062 444 318 300 1719 1326 393
10 Aris Limassol 51 1230 1249 315 309 625 1602 2534 -931
11 EPA Larnaca 50 1222 1052 362 277 413 1570 1641 -71
12 Alki Larnaca 43 1202 1128 309 284 535 1400 1986 -586
13 Ethnikos Achna 29 1027 833 284 204 345 1125 1240 -115
14 AEK Larnaca 21 895 603 253 136 214 960 809 151
15 APOP Paphos 19 406 502 105 126 271 501 1007 -506
16 Evagoras Paphos 18 371 480 90 136 254 431 906 -475
17 Digenis Akritas Morphou 15 339 396 94 110 192 397 690 -293
18 Doxa Katokopias 12 336 362 84 84 194 409 733 -324
19 AEP Paphos 10 315 278 81 72 125 376 478 -102
20 Ermis Aradippou 10 259 302 66 65 171 301 642 -341
21 Omonia Aradippou 13 232 357 64 92 201 315 686 -371
22 Çetinkaya Türk 18 189 209 77 35 97 393 503 -110
23 ASIL Lysi 8 180 198 37 40 121 169 430 -261
24 APOP Kinyras 5 161 148 44 29 75 201 275 -74
25 Orfeas Nicosia 4 134 90 24 16 50 110 180 -70
26 AYMA 11 121 176 23 27 126 256 593 -337
27 Anagennisi Deryneia 6 116 160 31 28 101 145 351 -207
28 APEP 7 101 192 25 34 133 158 460 -302
29 Keravnos 4 84 108 28 28 52 111 167 -56
30 Trast AC 4 68 44 30 8 6 129 54 75
31 Ayia Napa 4 64 110 12 28 70 90 218 -128
32 Ethnikos Assia 3 60 78 17 9 52 102 184 -82
33 Chalkanoras Idaliou 2 43 60 16 11 33 59 116 -57
34 Pafos FC 1 36 36 8 12 16 41 58 -17
35 Othellos Athienou 1 25 32 5 10 17 26 42 -16
36 AEK Kouklia 1 23 36 6 5 25 34 94 -60
37 Onisilos Sotira 1 13 26 3 4 19 22 63 -41
38 Atromitos Yeroskipou 1 7 26 1 4 21 19 69 -50
39 THOI Lakatamia 1 7 26 1 4 21 15 75 -60
Total 28914 22682 8560 5562 8560 34567 34567 0

Final positions per club (1934–35 until 2015–16)[edit]

The final positions table indicates how many times each club finished in every position of the league table from 1934–35 season until 2015–16 season:[7]

↓Team / Place→ 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th Total
APOEL 25 20 15 3 4 1 3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 75
AEL Limassol 6 2 6 16 12 7 7 5 5 3 2 3 0 1 0 0 75
Anorthosis Famagusta 13 10 8 7 15 5 8 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 70
Olympiakos Nicosia 3 4 2 4 4 7 6 7 5 6 11 3 3 1 0 0 66
AC Omonia 20 16 10 9 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 60
Apollon Limassol 3 4 7 5 9 13 5 1 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 57
Nea Salamina 0 0 4 3 5 7 6 6 3 7 3 3 6 0 1 0 54
Aris Limassol 0 0 0 4 4 1 3 7 1 8 8 7 3 5 0 0 51
EPA Larnaca 3 5 4 2 4 3 4 8 4 7 4 1 1 0 0 0 50
Pezoporikos Larnaca 2 8 14 6 5 5 4 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 49
Enosis Neon Paralimni 0 1 2 3 3 6 5 12 5 4 2 1 2 0 0 0 46
Alki Larnaca 0 0 1 1 0 4 3 2 6 6 6 7 3 3 1 0 43
Ethnikos Achna 0 0 0 3 1 7 3 0 6 2 3 0 2 2 0 0 29
AEK Larnaca 0 2 0 6 2 0 4 3 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 21
APOP Paphos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 5 3 5 0 0 19
Çetinkaya Türk 1 1 4 3 6 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 18
Evagoras Paphos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 6 3 4 1 0 18
Digenis Akritas Morphou 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 1 2 1 1 1 3 0 2 1 15
Omonia Aradippou 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 2 2 2 0 13
Doxa Katokopias 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 3 0 3 1 0 0 12
AYMA 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 3 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 11
Ermis Aradippou 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 4 0 1 10
AEP Paphos 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 10
ASIL Lysi 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 1 1 1 8
APEP 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 0 0 7
Anagennisi Deryneia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 6
APOP Kinyras 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 5
Trast AC 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4
Orfeas Nicosia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 4
Keravnos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 4
Ayia Napa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 4
Ethnikos Assia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 3
Chalkanoras Idaliou 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 2
AEK Kouklia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Othellos Athienou 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Pafos FC 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
Onisilos Sotira 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1
Atromitos Yeroskipou 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1
THOI Lakatamia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Πρωτάθλημα Cyta" μέχρι το 2019 (συμφωνία ΚΟΠ – Cyta) ["Cyta Championship until 2019] (in Greek). cfa.com.cy. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  2. ^ HISTORY OF CFA. CFA. 31 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Cyprus - List of Champions". RSSSF. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Πρωταθλήτριες Ομάδες". CFA. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cyprus - Participations per club at Cypriot First Division". RSSSF. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Cyprus - All-Time Table". RSSSF. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Cyprus - Clubwise Final Placings". RSSSF. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 

External links[edit]