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Pakistan Premier League

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Pakistan Premier League

Pakistan Premier League
پاکستان پریمیئر لیگ
Country  Pakistan
Confederation AFC
Founded 1948 officially
2004 with current format
Divisions 1
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 1
Relegation to PFF League
Domestic cup(s) Challenge Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Current champions KRL F.C. (4 titles)
Most championships KRL F.C.
WAPDA F.C. (4 titles)
TV partners PTV Sports and Geo Super

The Pakistan Premier League (Urdu:پاکستان پریمیئر لیگ) or PPL is a professional football league competition for clubs located at the highest level of the Pakistan football league system. It was founded originally in 1948, but the current format was adopted in 2004. Contested by 16 teams, the Pakistan Premier League is the top tier of an extensive pyramid-like structure, above the PFF League (or B Division). Since the creation of the league in 2004, six different teams have become league champions.[1] Teams play 30 matches each with 240 matches played in total. The current Challenge Cup champions are KRL F.C., who won the title in the 2013–14 season.


National Football Championship

Pakistan’s first semi-professional football league began on May 28, 1948 as the National Football Championship. The league was a knock-out competition, which remained as the top football league in the country until 2004 with the introduction of the Pakistan Premier League.

National Football Championship Winners
Season Winner Runners-up
1948 Sindh Blue Sindh Red
1949 Balochistan Red Sindh
1952 Punjab NWFP
1953 Punjab NWFP Blue
1954 Punjab Blue Railway F.C.
1955 Punjab NWFP
1956 Balochistan Railway F.C.
1957 Punjab East Pakistan White F.C.
1958 Punjab Blue Railway F.C.
1959 Balochistan East Pakistan
1960 East Pakistan Karachi Blue
1961 Dacca Karachi White
1962 Dacca Karachi
1963 Karachi Railway F.C.
1964 Karachi Railway F.C.
1966 Karachi Railway F.C.
1968 Peshawar Lahore
1969 Railway F.C. Karachi
1970 Chittagong Peshawar
1971 PIA F.C. Karachi
1972 PIA F.C. Peshawar White
1973 Karachi Yellow Rawalpindi
1975 (1) PIA F.C. Punjab A
1975 (2) Sindh Red Balochistan Red
1976 PIA F.C. Railway F.C.
1978 PIA F.C. Sindh Red
1979 Karachi Red PIA F.C.
1980 Karachi Red Army F.C.
1981 PIA F.C. PAF F.C.
1982 HBL F.C. Railway F.C.
1983 WAPDA F.C. HBL F.C.
1984 Railway F.C. WAPDA F.C.
1985 Quetta PIA F.C.
1986 PAF F.C. PIA F.C.
1987 CTM F.C. KPT F.C.
1989 (1) Punjab Red Railway F.C.
1989 (2) PIA F.C. SGP F.C
1990 Punjab Red PIA F.C.
1991 WAPDA F.C. HBL F.C.
1992 PIA F.C. Army F.C.
1993 Army F.C. WAPDA F.C.
1994 CTM F.C. WAPDA F.C.
1995 Army F.C. ABL F.C.
1997 (1) ABL F.C. PIA F.C.
1997 (2) PIA F.C. ABL F.C.
1999 ABL F.C. Navy F.C.
2000 ABL F.C. HBL F.C.
2001 WAPDA F.C. KRL F.C.
2003 WAPDA F.C. Army F.C.

National League

In August 2003, major restructuring was undertaken by the Pakistan Football Federation with support of FIFA's Goal Programme. Several new training facilities were built across the country and a new PFF Head Office was built in Lahore. Under new management, the PFF restructured the National Football Championship and in 2004 introduced the National League Division A Football League (which contained 12 clubs across Pakistan) and the National League Division B Football League (containing 5 clubs).

Premier League

In 2006-07, the National League Division A Football League was renamed to the Pakistan Premier League while the National League Division B Football League was renamed to the PFF National League. In the following 2007/08 season, the league was expanded to 14 clubs. In the for the 2010/2011 season the league was expanded to 16 clubs. The two bottom teams at the end of each Pakistan Premier League season would to be relegated to the PFF League, while the top 2 teams in the PFF League would be promoted to the Pakistan Premier League.[2]

Professionalizing The PPL

The Pakistan Football Federation have announced they will try and professionalize the league by introducing city based teams and getting rid of "departmental" teams, which although are financially stable, do not have much of a fan following.[3]

Current clubs (2014–15)

Club City Stadium Capacity
Afghan F.C. Chaman Jamal Nasir Stadium 12,000
Air Force F.C. Peshawar PAF Complex 1000
Army F.C. Rawalpindi Army Stadium 7000
Baloch F.C. Nushki Nushki Stadium 3000
HBL F.C. Karachi Peoples Football Stadium 40,000
KESC F.C. Karachi Peoples Football Stadium 40,000
KPT F.C. Karachi Karachi Port Trust Stadium 6000
KRL F.C. Rawalpindi KRL Stadium 8000
Lyallpur FC Faisalabad Railways Ground 20,000
Muslim F.C. Quetta Sadiq Shaheed Stadium 5000
Navy F.C. Karachi PNS Karsaz Stadium 3000
NBP F.C. Karachi Karachi Port Trust Stadium 6000
PAC F.C. Chaman Jamal Nasir Stadium 12,000
PIA F.C. Karachi Korangi Baloch Stadium 5000
WAPDA F.C. Lahore Railway Stadium 3000
ZTBL F.C. Islamabad Jinnah Sports Stadium 48,800


List of champions by season

Season Champions Runners-up Third place
2004-05 WAPDA F.C. Army F.C. KRL F.C.
2005-06 Army F.C. WAPDA F.C. KRL F.C.
2006-07 Army F.C. WAPDA F.C. KRL F.C.
2007-08 WAPDA F.C. Army F.C. KRL F.C.
2008-09 WAPDA F.C. Army F.C. KRL F.C.
2009-10 KRL F.C. Army F.C. WAPDA F.C.
2010–11 WAPDA F.C. KRL F.C. PIA F.C.
2011-12 KRL F.C. Afghan F.C. Army F.C.
2012-13 KRL F.C. KESC F.C. Muslim F.C.
2013–14 KRL F.C. KESC F.C. WAPDA F.C.

Most successful clubs since 2004 in PPL

Team Winners Runners-up Third Place
WAPDA F.C. 4 (2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) 2 (2005-06, 2006-07) 2 (2009-10, 2013–14)
KRL F.C. 4 (2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013–14) 1 (2010–11) 5 (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09)
Army F.C. 2 (2005-06, 2006-07) 4 (2004-05, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) 1 (2011-12)
KESC F.C. 2 (2012-13, 2013–14)
Afghan F.C. 1 (2011-12)
PIA F.C. 1 (2010–11)
Muslim F.C. 1 (2012-13)


The Pakistan Premier League is directly under control of the Pakistan Football Federation or PFF. The PFF oversees all aspects of the league and makes unilateral decisions over any changes to the format, funding and sponsorship.


There are currently 16 clubs in the PPL, although the competition started in 2004–05 with 14 teams. The season lasts during the winter months stretching from November to February, with each club playing the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents for a total of 30 games for each club, with a total of 240 games in each season. Each teams receives three points for a win and one point for a draw. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned as PPL Champion. At the end of the season, the two worst teams are relegated directly to the PFF League, while the top two teams in the PFF League are promoted to the PPL.

Qualification for Asian competitions

The top team in the PPL automatically qualifies for the AFC President's Cup, the weakest continental club competition in Asia. Technically, the PFF can nominate any team to represent them in Asia; however, only the team that finished top of their highest league are sent.



PPL clubs have almost complete freedom to sign whatever number and category of players they wish. There is no team or individual salary cap, no squad size limit, no age restrictions other than those applied by general employment law. However teams are restricted to not more than 2 foreign players in the squad for the season. Players move on free transfers as contracts only last for a year, but some contracts can be as long as three years, and the transfer fees are small. Due to the nature of the league, players tend to work for the company they play for during the off season and top players can command respectable football salaries.


Pakistan Television is the official Media Partner of Pakistan Premier League.In 2008 the final of PPL was also telecasted on Star Sports India.


Top Scorer

Year Player/s Club Goals
2004 Arif Mehmood WAPDA F.C. 20
2005 Imran Hussain Army F.C. 21
2006/07 Arif Mehmood WAPDA F.C.
2007/08 Arif Mehmood WAPDA F.C. 21
2008/09 Muhammad Rasool KRL F.C. 22
2009/10 Arif Mehmood WAPDA F.C. 20
2010/11 Arif Mehmood WAPDA F.C. 21
2011 Jadeed Khan Afghan F.C. 22

Most Valuable Player

Year Player Club
2004 Khuda Bakhsh WAPDA F.C.
2005 Adeel Ahmed PTCL F.C.
2007/08 Mohammad Imran Army F.C.
2008/09 Samar Ishaq KRL F.C.
2009/10 Nasrullah Khan PIA F.C.
2010/11 Muhammad Haji PIA F.C.
2011 Mahmood Ali Hazara WAPDA F.C.

Goalkeeper of the year

Year Player Club
2004 Jaffar Khan Army F.C.
2005 Jaffar Khan Army F.C.
2007/08 Amir Qureshi KRL F.C.
2008/09 Abdul Aziz WAPDA F.C.
2009/10 Ghulam Nabi KRL F.C.
2010/11 Muhammad Omer KESC F.C.
2011 Jaffar Khan Army F.C.

Fair Play Trophy

Year Club
2005 PTCL F.C.
2007/08 PTV F.C.
2008/09 Afghan F.C.
2010/11 Afghan F.C.
2011 PIA F.C.


The Pakistan Football Federation has been severely criticized for its non-serious attempts to increase the quality of football in the country. The PFF cites claims of lack of funds from the government, however these claims are largely rejected by players and owners alike who all agree that the PFF is severely mismanaged and corrupt. The league has an "amateurish" setup according to critics, which they claim don't allow players to develop to the level they are capable of. Pakistani clubs are considered lightweight in comparison to other Asian clubs and defeats by the opposition in the AFC President's Cup suggest that this may have some foundation. Another main criticism leveled at the PPL is the number of games played over a short space of time. One team can be forced to play 3 games in a week due to the congested fixture list. The PFF’s attempts to cut costs have led to players becoming exhausted.

Departmental Teams

The lack of independent clubs is also a major issue many football fans in Pakistan are annoyed with. Since the PFF has not made serious attempts to lure large businesses to invest in and/or sponsor teams, the league has a dominance of departmental teams run by the sports division government agencies and private businesses. This has resulted in a serious lack of public interest since nobody is willing to pay money to see departments play. However, critics suggest that if actual city-based teams are promoted with departments acting as sponsors, a fan following may develop. This is clearly evident with Chaman F.C. which has a large fan following and can see up-to 12,000 people attending matches.


  1. ^ "FIFA, AFC committed to promoting soccer in Pakistan: PFF president". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  2. ^ "PFF approves two more teams in Premier League". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  3. ^ "PFF approves two more teams in Premier League". Retrieved 2014-03-03. 

External links

  • - Pakistan - List of Champions
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