West Bank Premier League

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Jawwal West Bank Premier League
Country Palestine
Confederation PFA
Founded 1944
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to West Bank First League
Domestic cup(s) Palestine Cup, Yasser Arafat Cup
International cup(s) AFC Cup
Arab Champions League
Current champions Shabab Al-Dhahiriya
Most championships Taraji Wadi Al-Nes (4)
Website http://www.pfa.ps
2015–16 season

West Bank Premier League is one of the two top divisions of the Palestinian Football Federation (PFA). The other is the Gaza Strip League. Palestinian clubs have a rich history stretching back to the early 1930s, but most teams folded due to the political turmoil, and ensuing reduction of the geographical area of the country.[1] Over the years, the format of the league has taken many different shapes. The league has been uninterrupted since 2008.

The 2010–11 season marked the creation of the first professional league in the territories and saw high-profile signings for many clubs. Most notably Fadi Lafi (Hilal Al-Quds), Hernán Madrid (Wadi Al-Nes), and many Arab-Israelis who played for teams in the second and third tier of Israeli football.

The original format of the WBPL consisted of 12 teams playing each other twice over 22 matchdays, the bottom two clubs are relegated to the second division and the team with the most points are crowned champions.[2] Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari won the inaugural season beating out Hilal Al-Quds on goal differential.

The 2011–12 included only 10 teams but the PFA have announced that four teams will be promoted from the First Division returning the league to its traditional 12-team format. The PFA also altered the rules on player eligibility banning the use of foreign players but letting teams have an unlimited amount of Arab Israeli citizens in their squads.

Before professionalization[edit]

  • In 1977, Silwan won a five-team league on 28 points ahead of Al-Arabi Beit Safafa, YMCA, Al-Bireh Group, and Shabab Al-Khaleel.
  • In 1982, Shabab Al-Khaleel won a 24-team league on 81 points five points ahead of closest challengers YMCA.
  • In 1984, Markaz Tulkarem won a 12-team league on 60 points one point ahead of closest challengers Hateen.
  • In 1985, Shabab Al-Khaleel won their second league title, the league once again featured 12 teams. Shabab Al-Khaleel finished on 60 points, six ahead of Thaqafi Tulkarm.
  • In 1997, Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari won their first league title on 64 points, the league featured 16 teams, Thaqafi Tulkarm finished as runner-up on 53 points.
  • In 2008–09, Taraji Wadi Al-Nes won a 22-team league that would determine the members of the First and Second Division. They collected 49 points from 21 games.
  • In 2009–10 Jabal Al-Mukaber won a 12-team league, the last before the PFA instituted a professional set-up. They collected 49 points from 22 games, 7 more than their closest challengers Hilal Al-Quds.

Current clubs (2015-16)[edit]

Club Coach City Captain 2014-15 season Notes
Ahli Al-Khaleel Hebron 7th
Hilal Al-Quds Jamal Mahmoud Jerusalem Fadi Lafi 3rd
Markaz Balata Nablus 2nd
Markaz Shabab Al-Am'ari (R) Ramallah 8th
Shabab Al-Dhahiriya Ad-Dhahiriya Champions
Shabab Al-Khadr Bethlehem 6th
Shabab Al-Khalil Hebron 10th
Shabab Dura Hebron 9th
Taraji Wadi Al-Nes Firas Abu Radwan Bethlehem 5th
Thaqafi Tulkarm Miha Tulkarem Osama Sabah 4th

Past champions[edit]

The winners were:[3]


External links[edit]