Known to many as the Absa Premiership or the PSL, the South African Premier Division is the top administrator of professional football in the country. The league came to life in 1996 following an agreement between the remnants of the South Africa National Professional Soccer League and the National Soccer League.
For over two decades, the league has been dedicated to improving soccer in South Africa, giving rise to great clubs and thrilling experiences. Besides the entertainment, the ABSA Premiership has given rise to international players like Percy Tau, Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Itumeleng Khune and Siphiwe Tshabalala.
The ABSA Premiership History
After launching its operations in 1996, the league reduced the number of teams from 18 to 16 at the end of the 2001/2002 season. That reduced fixture congestion in the league, forcing two teams, Free State Stars and Ria Stars, to get disbanded. The league struggled with match-fixing scandals in 2004 and an investigation named “Operation Dribble”
In 2007, the PSL signed a new television deal worth 1.6 billion Rands with SuperSport, making it the most prominent sporting deal in the country. The agreement also took the league to the top 15 leagues ranked in terms of commercial broadcast deals in the world. ABSA also replaced Castle Larger as the name sponsors in the same year.
During the 2018/2019 season, the ABSA Premiership gave every club in the league a monthly grant of R2 million with the funds from the TV broadcasting rights. Today, the Golisports ABSA Premiership preview offers information of the top matches in the league as its rated 6th best in Africa.
ABSA Premiership Format
The South African Premier League features a total of 16 top teams in the country battling it out for cash and seasonal bragging rights as the champions. Every season, each team plays every opponent twice, at home stadium and away. That means each squad has a total of 30 matches to gather as many points as possible.
The League champion and first runners up qualify for the CAF Champions League, While the Nedbank Cup champions and third-place finisher goes for the Confederation Cup. However, the bottom team automatically goes to relegation and paves the way for the National First Division winner to join the ABSA Premiership. Additionally, the team at the 15th place must defend their position in the league by playing against the 2nd and 3rd teams in the First Division.
Most Successful Teams
While every ABSA Premiership fan believes the team he supports is the best in the country, some clubs have been successful more than others in terms of wins and titles. The top three most successful teams who have lifted the PSL titles include:
· Mamelodi Sundowns
Since PSL’s inception in 1996, Mamelodi has claimed the title nine times, winning about 237
league matches. Pitso Mosimane’s men have claimed the last two PSL titles, making it one of the
most successful clubs in South Africa.
· Kaizer Chiefs
If a Kaizer Chief fan tells you this club is the best in the country, he or she might have a point.
The club has claimed only four PSL titles, but they have a vast collection with over 50 trophies
form different leagues.
· Orlando Pirates
Also with four PSL League titles, the Soweto giants are among the country’s oldest clubs and
also one of the best teams in South Africa. The Buccaneers boast of 23 silverware cups in
domestic competition and nine league trophies.