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The Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
(Arabic: الدوري العراقي الممتاز, Dawri Al-Mumtaz) is the highest league in the league system of Iraqi football and currently contains the top 20 Iraqi football clubs. It is controlled by the Iraq
Iraq
Football Association (IFA) and is the top tier of an extensive pyramid-like structure, operating on a system of promotion and relegation with the Iraq Division One in which two teams get relegated and two teams get promoted each season.[1] The league was formed in 1974 when the IFA replaced the four regional championships that existed at the time (the most notable of which being the Iraqi Central League) with the Iraqi National League (the first nationwide league of clubs in Iraq). The current format sees 20 teams playing 38 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 380 matches in the season.[2] Of the 74 teams to have competed since the inception of the league in 1974, 11 have won the title: Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(13), Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
(6), Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(5), Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
(5), Erbil
Erbil
(4), Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
(3), Naft Al-Wasat (1), Duhok (1), Al-Jaish (1), Salahaddin (1) and Al-Minaa
Al-Minaa
(1). The current champions are Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, who won the title in 2016–17.[3]

Contents

1 History

1.1 Origins 1.2 Foundation 1.3 Development 1.4 Trophy

2 List of champions

2.1 Most successful clubs 2.2 "Baghdad's Big Four" dominance

3 Competition format

3.1 Competition 3.2 Qualification for international competitions 3.3 International performance

4 Sponsorship 5 Clubs

5.1 Seasons in Iraqi Premier League 5.2 Clubs for 2017–18 season

6 Controversies

6.1 Uncompleted seasons 6.2 Controversial title wins

7 Records

7.1 League records 7.2 Player records 7.3 Match records 7.4 Managerial records

8 See also 9 References 10 External links

History[edit] Origins[edit] Main article: Iraqi Central League

The logo of the Iraqi Central League.

The Iraq Football Association
Iraq Football Association
was founded in 1948, and soon after the foundation of the IFA, a national championship was held which was won by Sharikat Naft Al-Basra
Sharikat Naft Al-Basra
in the 1948–49 season. In 1956, the Iraqi Central League was founded for teams in central Iraq
Iraq
(i.e. the capital city, Baghdad) which became one of four regional leagues held before 1974 (the others being in Basra, Kirkuk
Kirkuk
and Mosul). The teams that competed in the league were a mixture of football clubs and institute teams (such as Police and Army representative teams). Despite being a regional championship, the winners of the Central League were considered by fans and the media to be the Iraqi champions, and the IFA selected the Central League winners to participate in the Asian Club Championship
Asian Club Championship
rather than winners of the other regional leagues. During its 18 seasons of existence, Al-Shorta won five titles, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
won five titles, Amanat Baghdad
Baghdad
won five titles, Al-Jaish won one title, Al-Athori won one title and one season was abandoned midway through.[4] Foundation[edit] After the success of the 1973–74 edition of the Iraqi Central League that included some teams from other provinces, the IFA made a decision that changed the course of Iraqi club football. During a meeting on 18 August 1974, they decided to abandon the regional leagues and replace them with a nationwide league of clubs: the Iraqi National League, as it was known then. This decision was initially met with strong opposition but was accepted over time as the IFA refused to return to the old system. The league held its first season in 1974–75 and was originally composed of ten clubs. The first ever Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
goal was scored by Falah Hassan of Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
in a 1–1 draw with Al-Sinaa. The ten inaugural members of the new league were Al-Tayaran (now called Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya), Al-Shorta, Al-Naqil, Al-Samawa, Al-Jaish, Babil, Al-Baladiyat (now called Amanat Baghdad), Al-Rafidain, Al-Sinaa
Al-Sinaa
and Al-Muwasalat (now called Al-Minaa), and the league was won by Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya.[5] Development[edit] The format of the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
has changed multiple times throughout its existence. Below are some of the notable changes to the league's format that have happened over the years:

In the 1984–85 season, three points were awarded for a win for the first time, but this was changed back to two points for the following season. In the 1986–87 season, each team played each other four times in a quadruple round-robin format; this is the only time that this has happened in the league's history. The first time that the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
was not held in a round-robin format was when it was split into four regional groups in the 1988–89 season, which were followed by another group stage, semi-finals, a third place match and a final. During this season, if a match ended in a draw, it would go to extra time and then penalties if necessary. A team would earn three points if they won a game by two goals or more (after normal or extra time). They would earn two points if they won a game by just one goal (after normal or extra time), and they would gain one point for winning a penalty shootout. Al-Rasheed won the league this season by beating Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
on penalties in the final.[6] The 1992–93 Iraqi National League saw each team play a huge 69 games as each team played each other three times, meaning that a total of 828 games were played in that season. Each player was only allowed to play 46 games in the season. In the 1994–95 season, three points were awarded to a winning team as opposed to two, but four points were awarded to a team that won a game by three goals or more in order to encourage attacking football.[7] Every season after this has seen three points awarded for a victory. The 2000–01 Iraqi Elite League started with a qualifying round to decide which 16 teams would qualify for the league competition. 135 teams in total from all around Iraq
Iraq
competed in the qualifiers; for the first qualifying round they were split into various groups based on geographical position and the top-finishing teams from each group qualified for second qualifying round which consisted of more geographical-based groups. The top-finishing teams of those groups qualified to the league which itself was a 30-round competition. This led to the season being a lot longer than previous seasons, forcing the 2000–01 edition of the Iraq FA Cup
Iraq FA Cup
to be cancelled. The league had been played in a round-robin format from 1989 until 2003, but after the US invasion of Iraq
Iraq
in 2003, the IFA decided to change the league system into a system consisting of group stages, drawn based on geographical position. This was to make travel easier for the clubs. The group stage system remained in place from 2003–04 up until 2010–11, and the double round-robin system returned in the 2011–12 season. It lasted for only three seasons until the group stage format returned from the 2014–15 campaign, but the double round-robin format was once again reintroduced in 2016–17.

Trophy[edit]

The Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
shield that was awarded to 2012–13 champions Al-Shorta.

The Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
trophy was designed by Iraq
Iraq
Football Association member Zuhair Nadhum and the design was implemented by Qahtan Salim. The materials used to make the trophy were imported from China. The trophy is a flat shield, predominantly golden in colour. In the centre of the shield is a football made from gold and mirrored pieces, with a gold map of Iraq
Iraq
in the centre of the ball. Inside the golden map reads the word Iraq
Iraq
in Arabic, with the words Premier League Shield underneath (also in Arabic) completed with the season. Surrounding the golden football are the words Iraq
Iraq
Football Association written in Arabic at the top and in English at the bottom in silver text. Surrounding that text is another ring, the top half of which contains the Flag of Iraq
Iraq
and the bottom half of which contains 18 golden stars, representing the 18 provinces of Iraq
Iraq
(not including Halabja). Connecting the two halves of the outer ring on both sides is the logo of the Iraq
Iraq
Football Association. In seasons where the league is sponsored, these two IFA logos are replaced by the logo of the league's sponsor(s).[8] This shield was first used as the Iraqi Premier League's trophy in the 2009–10 season. Prior to that, the trophy had been frequently changed. During the 1990s, the trophy was a golden shield with a photograph of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
in the centre,[9] while the trophy was a flat silver shield in the 2001–02 season,[10] a silver trophy in the 2004–05 season[11] and a golden trophy up until the 2009–10 campaign.[12] List of champions[edit] Main article: List of Iraqi football champions

No. Season Champion

1 1974–75 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

2 1975–76 Al-Zawraa

3 1976–77 Al-Zawraa

4 1977–78 Al-Minaa

5 1978–79 Al-Zawraa

6 1979–80 Al-Shorta

7 1980–81 Al-Talaba

8 1981–82 Al-Talaba

9 1982–83 Salahaddin

10 1983–84 Al-Jaish

11 1984–85 Abandoned

12 1985–86 Al-Talaba

13 1986–87 Al-Rasheed

14 1987–88 Al-Rasheed

15 1988–89 Al-Rasheed

No. Season Champion

16 1989–90 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

17 1990–91 Al-Zawraa

18 1991–92 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

19 1992–93 Al-Talaba

20 1993–94 Al-Zawraa

21 1994–95 Al-Zawraa

22 1995–96 Al-Zawraa

23 1996–97 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

24 1997–98 Al-Shorta

25 1998–99 Al-Zawraa

26 1999–2000 Al-Zawraa

27 2000–01 Al-Zawraa

28 2001–02 Al-Talaba

29 2002–03 Al-Shorta

30 2003–04 Abandoned

No. Season Champion

31 2004–05 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

32 2005–06 Al-Zawraa

33 2006–07 Erbil

34 2007–08 Erbil

35 2008–09 Erbil

36 2009–10 Duhok

37 2010–11 Al-Zawraa

38 2011–12 Erbil

39 2012–13 Al-Shorta

40 2013–14 Al-Shorta

41 2014–15 Naft Al-Wasat

42 2015–16 Al-Zawraa

43 2016–17 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

44 2017–18 TBD

Most successful clubs[edit]

# Club Winners Runners-up Winning Years

1 Al-Zawraa 13 6 1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2015–16

2 Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 6 10 1974–75, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2004–05, 2016–17

3 Al-Talaba 5 8 1980–81, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1992–93, 2001–02

4 Al-Shorta 5 2 1979–80, 1997–98, 2002–03, 2012–13, 2013–14

5 Erbil 4 3 2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2011–12

6 Al-Rasheed 3 2 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89

7 Al-Jaish 1 2 1983–84

8 Naft Al-Wasat 1 1 2014–15

Duhok 2009–10

Al-Minaa 1977–78

11 Salahaddin 1 0 1982–83

"Baghdad's Big Four" dominance[edit]

'Big Four' during the 1990s and early 2000s

Season Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Shorta Al-Talaba Al-Zawraa

1989–90 1 3 6 4

1990–91 6 3 2 1

1991–92 1 5 4 2

1992–93 3 4 1 2

1993–94 2 5 3 1

1994–95 2 6 4 1

1995–96 8 3 6 1

1996–97 1 5 3 2

1997–98 2 1 5 3

1998–99 3 5 2 1

1999–2000 2 3 4 1

2000–01 2 3 4 1

2001–02 2 3 1 4

2002–03 5 1 2 4

Top four finishes 11 9 11 14

out of 14

Ever since the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
began, it has been dominated by the four biggest clubs in Baghdad: Al-Shorta, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
and Al-Talaba. Of the four teams, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
have earned more top-four finishes (32) than any other side over the 41 completed seasons, meanwhile Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
have won the league title 13 times, far more than any of the other sides. Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
have retained the league more recently than any of the other three teams having been crowned champions in both the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons, and Al-Talaba are the most recent team to have won the Double (Premier League and FA Cup) which they achieved in the 2001–02. From the 1989–90 season until the 2005–06 season, the league was won by one of the four Baghdad
Baghdad
teams every single time and this was the greatest period of dominance that the four clubs enjoyed. Even before and after this period, the league title was usually won by one the clubs. After the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, players started to leave the Baghdad-based clubs and join clubs in the North such as Erbil
Erbil
and Duhok in order to escape the danger of the capital city. This led to a shift in the structure of the "Big Four" and Erbil
Erbil
won the league three times in a row between 2007 and 2009 with Duhok winning the league in 2010. In the 2008–09 season, none of Baghdad's Big Four clubs finished in the top four and this is the only time that this has ever happened in the history of the league; the top four spots were occupied by Erbil, Al-Najaf, Duhok and Amanat Baghdad.[13] Baghdad's Big Four have returned to dominating the league in recent seasons though, winning four out of the last five league titles. In total, Baghdad's Big Four clubs have won 29 of the 41 Iraqi Premier League titles in history. Competition format[edit] Competition[edit] There are 20 clubs in the Iraqi Premier League. During the course of a season each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 38 games (however, all matches between Baghdad's Big Four clubs are played at the neutral venue of Al-Shaab Stadium
Al-Shaab Stadium
to accommodate more spectators). Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest-placed teams are relegated into the Iraq
Iraq
Division One, and the top two teams from the Iraq Division One are promoted in their place.[14] Each club is allowed a maximum of three foreign players in their squad. The winners of the league qualify for the Iraqi Super Cup, a match played against the winners of the Iraq FA Cup
Iraq FA Cup
(if the league winners also win the Iraq
Iraq
FA Cup, they play the league runners-up instead). Qualification for international competitions[edit] At present, the winners of the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
qualify for the AFC Champions League
AFC Champions League
group stage and the UAFA Club Championship, the runners-up of the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
qualify for the UAFA Club Championship, and the winners of the Iraq FA Cup
Iraq FA Cup
qualify for the AFC Champions League qualifying play-off (if the cup winners also won the league, the league runners-up qualify for the AFC Champions League qualifying play-off). If both of the clubs that qualify for the AFC Champions League fail to fulfil AFC's Licensing Criteria for the competition (as has been the case for a while), they instead both play in Asia's second-tier tournament, the AFC Cup. International performance[edit] Collectively, Iraqi clubs have reached twelve finals of major continental club competitions. Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
were the first team to do so when they reached the Asian Club Championship
Asian Club Championship
final in 1971, defeating holders Taj Tehran 2–0 in the semis. They were set to face Maccabi Tel Aviv in the final but refused to play the game in protest at the Israeli occupation of Palestine; the club itself as well as the entire Arab media considers Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
to the champions of the tournament after the subsequent expulsion of Israel from the Asian Football Confederation. Eleven years later, Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
were successful in another continental tournament, winning the Arab Club Champions Cup in 1982 by defeating Al-Nejmeh 4–2 on aggregate in the final. Meanwhile, Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
won the Arab Club Champions Cup three times in a row in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
also became the second Iraqi team to reach the final of the Asian Club Championship
Asian Club Championship
in 1989 but they lost a two-legged final on away goals to Al-Saad of Qatar. Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
reached the final of the 1995 Asian Cup Winners' Cup
1995 Asian Cup Winners' Cup
but they lost it 2–1 to Bellmare Hiratsuka, and five years later, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
lost the final of the same competition 1–0 to Shimizu S-Pulse in 2000. Erbil
Erbil
reached the final of Asia's second-tier tournament, the AFC Cup, twice (in 2012 and 2014) but lost both times (to Al-Kuwait and Al-Qadsia respectively). Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
finally ended the succession of defeats two years later when they edged past Indian club Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC
1–0 in the 2016 AFC Cup
AFC Cup
Final, and they won the competition for the second consecutive season in 2017 by beating FC Istiklol
FC Istiklol
by the same scoreline. Sponsorship[edit] The Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
has been sponsored by two different companies: Asia Cell
Asia Cell
and Fuchs Petrolub.

Period Sponsor Name

1974–1995 No sponsor National League

1995–1996 Advanced League

1996–1999 Premier League

1999–2000 First Division

2000–2002 Elite League

2002–2003 First Division

2003–2008 Premier League

2008–2011 Premier Division

2011–2012 Asia Cell Asia Cell
Asia Cell
Elite League

2012–2013 No sponsor Elite League

2013–2015 Premier League

2015–2016 Fuchs Petrolub Fuchs Premier League

2016–present No sponsor Premier League

Clubs[edit] Seasons in Iraqi Premier League[edit] 74 teams have taken part in the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
since its first season in 1974–75 up until the 2017–18 season. The teams in bold are competing in the Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
in the 2017–18 season. Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
and Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
are the only teams to have played in every single one of the 44 Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
seasons.

44 seasons: Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Shorta 43 seasons: Al-Talaba, Al-Zawraa 42 seasons: Al-Minaa 37 seasons: Al-Sinaa 33 seasons: Al-Naft 32 seasons: Al-Jaish 31 seasons: Al-Najaf 25 seasons: Erbil 24 seasons: Amanat Baghdad, Salahaddin 22 seasons: Al-Karkh, Samarra 20 seasons: Karbalaa, Al-Mosul 19 seasons: Duhok, Kirkuk 15 seasons: Al-Samawa, Al-Shabab, Al-Tijara

14 seasons: Al-Ramadi, Diyala, Zakho 13 seasons: Al-Kahraba, Naft Al-Janoob 12 seasons: Al-Nasiriya 10 seasons: Al-Kut 9 seasons: Al-Diwaniya, Al-Sulaikh, Maysan 8 seasons: Al-Bahri, Al-Sulaymaniyah, Babil 7 seasons: Al-Hedood, Naft Maysan 6 seasons: Al-Estiqlal, Al-Kadhimiya, Al-Rasheed, Masafi Al-Wasat 5 seasons: Zeravani 4 seasons: Al-Ittihad, Naft Al-Wasat, Sirwan Al-Jadid 3 seasons: Al-Amarah, Al-Basra, Al-Etisalat, Al-Hilla, Al-Khutoot, Al-Kufa, Al-Shatra, Al-Umal 2 seasons: Al-Adala, Al-Forat, Al-Hasanain, Al-Hindiya, Al-Hussein, Al-Shirqat, Al-Shuala, Al-Thawra 1 season: Al-Adhamiya, Al-Jamahir, Al-Naqil, Al-Numaniyah, Al-Rafidain, Al-Salam, Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya, Al-Taji, Ararat, Balad, Haifa, Iraq
Iraq
Youth Team,[a] Masafi Al-Janoob, Peshmerga

^ The Iraq
Iraq
Youth Team played the second half of the 1990–91 season after the withdrawals of Al-Jaish, Al-Bahri and Erbil. They also played the first half of the 1993–94 season but were then replaced by Babil who adopted the youth team's record.

Clubs for 2017–18 season[edit] The following 20 clubs are competing in the Iraqi Premier League during the 2017–18 season.

Club Position in 2016–17 First season in Premier League Seasons in Premier League First season of current spell in Premier League Premier League titles Last Premier League title

Al-Bahri 7001140000000000000♠14th 1979–80 8 2016–17 0 n/a

Al-Diwaniya 7001210000000000000♠1st in Iraq
Iraq
Division One 1988–89 9 2017–18 0 n/a

Al-Hedood 7001120000000000000♠12th 2008–09 7 2014–15 0 n/a

Al-Husseinb 7001170000000000000♠17th 2016–17 2 2016–17 0 n/a

Al-Kahraba 7001130000000000000♠13th 2004–05 13 2014–15 0 n/a

Al-Minaaa 7000600000000000000♠6th 1974–75 42 1990–91 1 1977–78

Al-Naftb 7000200000000000000♠2nd 1985–86 33 1985–86 0 n/a

Al-Najafb 7000900000000000000♠9th 1987–88 31 1987–88 0 n/a

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiyaa, b 7000100000000000000♠1st 1974–75 44 1974–75 6 2016–17

Al-Samawaa 7001180000000000000♠18th 1974–75 15 2015–16 0 n/a

Al-Shortaa, b 7000300000000000000♠3rd 1974–75 44 1974–75 5 2013–14

Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiyab 7001220000000000000♠2nd in Iraq
Iraq
Division One 2017–18 1 2017–18 0 n/a

Al-Talabab 7000700000000000000♠7th 1975–76 43 1975–76 5 2001–02

Al-Zawraab 7000400000000000000♠4th 1975–76 43 1975–76 13 2015–16

Amanat Baghdada 7000800000000000000♠8th 1974–75 24 2008–09 0 n/a

Karbalaa 7001150000000000000♠15th 1992–93 20 2003–04 0 n/a

Naft Al-Janoob 7001100000000000000♠10th 2004–05 13 2012–13 0 n/a

Naft Al-Wasatb 7000500000000000000♠5th 2014–15 4 2014–15 1 2014–15

Naft Maysan 7001110000000000000♠11th 2009–10 7 2013–14 0 n/a

Zakho 7001160000000000000♠16th 2002–03 14 2009–10 0 n/a

a: Founding member of the Iraqi Premier League b: Never been relegated from the Iraqi Premier League Controversies[edit] Uncompleted seasons[edit]

Nashat Akram
Nashat Akram
won two Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
titles with Al-Shorta, first in 2002–03 and then in 2012–13 as captain.

The 1976–77 season was halted midway through the second half of the season after scheduling difficulties. The Iraq
Iraq
Football Association decided to cancel the results from the second half of the season, and crowned Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
the champions as they were top of the league at the halfway stage of the competition. The 1984–85 season was abandoned even before all of the teams had played half of their games, so the IFA did not declare any team as the champion. It was abandoned to give the Iraq
Iraq
national team more time to prepare for the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, after public interest in the league had declined following the national team's recent successes. The 2002–03 season was halted midway through the second half of the season, as the 2003 US invasion of Iraq
Iraq
made it too difficult to play matches in the country. The IFA decided to cancel the results from the second half of the season, and crowned Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
the champions as they were top of the league at the halfway stage of the competition. The 2003–04 season was abandoned midway through the first group stage round of the tournament, as the 2003 US invasion of Iraq
Iraq
made it too difficult to play matches in the country. The IFA decided to hold playoff games between the best performing teams (Al-Shorta, Al-Zawraa, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
and Al-Naft) to decide which teams would qualify for the 2005 AFC Champions League, but could not declare a champion for the season due to the group stage format. The IFA called an end to the 2013–14 season on 18 June 2014 due to increased unrest in the country caused by ISIS. All teams had played well over half of their scheduled games in total but due to postponements earlier in the season, not all games from the first half of the season had been played yet. Thus, IFA member Kamil Zaghir announced the decision to declare the standings on 18 June as final, crowning Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
as the league champions, with Erbil
Erbil
being the runners-up.[15][16][17]

Controversial title wins[edit]

In the 1980–81 season, Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
managed to defeat Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
3–0 in their final match, which was exactly the result they needed in order retain their title and be crowned champions for the second time. They finished the season on equal points and equal goal difference with Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
but more goals scored and therefore expected to be given the trophy. However, the Iraqi FA did not officially announce who the champion was until the next day when they announced that Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
were the champions due to having won more matches than Al-Shorta. This rule had never been used before and was never used again, and the decision astonished everybody. Many Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
fans claimed there was a conspiracy against their club.

In the 1982–83 season, the two half-brothers of Saddam Hussein (Barzan Ibrahim and Watban Ibrahim) took control of the Salahaddin club, who had never won the league or cup in its history at that point. They became title challengers that season and the Ibrahims were accused of using their influence to intimidate opposition teams and cause referees to make deliberately incorrect decisions which favoured Salahaddin, such as when they were awarded a goal against Al-Shorta despite the ball not crossing the line which allowed them to win 1–0. Salahaddin needed to draw their final match of the season in order to win the league title, so the match was moved to their home in Tikrit
Tikrit
rather than being played in Baghdad
Baghdad
as scheduled. Salahaddin's opponents had two goals disallowed by the referee that game. They finished the season as champions without a single loss in the league.

The following season, it is believed that Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, instructed the president of the Iraqi FA to ensure that Al-Jaish (Army Club) would win their first league title, in order to boost the morale of the Iraqi Army. Players were reportedly blackmailed into joining Al-Jaish in order to increase the quality of the team. If Al-Jaish were losing at 90 minutes, referees would add on significant amounts of stoppage time to allow them to tie the game. In the final game of the season, their opponents were given two red cards which allowed Al-Jaish to win the match and therefore win the title. They also finished the season without a single loss in the league.

After this season, Uday Hussein, the son of Saddam Hussein, established a new club called Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
and placed them straight into the second division and they were promoted to the top division in their first season. Uday forced nearly every single player from the national team into Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
(against their will), with the exception of a few such as Raad Hammoudi and Hussein Saeed, leading to Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
dominating Iraqi football in the late 1980s. They won three consecutive league titles in 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89. Uday also punished players who performed poorly, often by humiliating them or torturing them.

In the 1991–92 season, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
played against Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
on the last day of the season. If Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
won or drew the match, they would be champions, but if Jawiya won then they would be champions. Jawiya took an early 1–0 lead, and Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
thought they had managed to get an equaliser in the second half. However, the linesman controversially disallowed the goal due to offside. Jawiya won 1–0 and were crowned champions, meaning that decision deprived Al-Zawraa of the league title.[18][19]

Records[edit] League records[edit]

Titles

Most titles: 13, Al-Zawraa Most consecutive title wins: 3 – joint record:

Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
twice (1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96 and 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01) Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
(1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89) Erbil
Erbil
(2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09)

Biggest title-winning margin: 17 points, 1995–96 (22 games); Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(55 points) over Al-Najaf (38 points) Smallest title-winning margin: 0 points, 0 GD and 2 wins – 1980–81 (11 games); Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
(8 wins) over Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(6 wins). Both finished on 17 points and +14 goal difference, but Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
won the title due to having won two more games than Al-Shorta. Worst defence of a title: Duhok (champions in 2009–10, 12th place in 2010–11)

Wins

Most wins in a season: 46, Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
(1992–93, 69 games) Most consecutive wins in a season: 11, Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(1997–98) Most consecutive wins from beginning of season: 9 – joint record:

Erbil
Erbil
(2 November 2008 – 2 January 2009) Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(20 November 2017 – 16 January 2018)

Fewest wins in a season: 0 – joint record:

Al-Rafidain (1974–75, 18 games) Babil (1977–78, 13 games) Al-Bahri (1979–80, 22 games) Al-Adhamiya (1980–81, 11 games) Salahaddin (2004–05, 16 games) Al-Sulaikh (2005–06, 12 games) Amanat Baghdad
Baghdad
(2005–06, 12 games) Al-Kadhimiya (2005–06, 12 games) Al-Jaish (2006–07, 6 games) Zakho (2007–08, 14 games)

Losses

Most losses in a season: 52, Al-Sulaymaniyah (1992–93, 69 games) Fewest losses in a season: 0 – joint record:

Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
four times (1976–77 (11 games), 1978–79 (12 games), 2005–06 (19 games), 2015–16 (24 games)) Al-Minaa
Al-Minaa
(1977–78, 13 games) Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(1980–81, 11 games) Salahaddin (1982–83, 22 games) Al-Jaish (1983–84, 24 games)

Longest unbeaten run: 39 games, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(1993–1994)

Draws

Most draws in a season: 30, Al-Naft
Al-Naft
(1992–93, 69 games)

Attendances

Highest attendance, single game: 70,000, Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
v. Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(at Al-Shaab Stadium, December 1991)

Goals

Most goals scored in a season: 134, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(1992–93, 69 games) Fewest goals scored in a season: 1 – joint record:

Al-Jaish (2006–07, 6 games) Al-Adala
Al-Adala
(2006–07, 8 games)

Most goals conceded in a season: 162, Al-Sulaymaniyah (1992–93, 69 games) Fewest goals conceded in a season: 5 – joint record:

Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(1977–78, 13 games) Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
(1980–81, 11 games)

Most consecutive matches without conceding a goal: 14, Erbil
Erbil
(16 July 2009 – 20 March 2010) Best goal difference in a season: 96, Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
(1992–93, 69 games) Most goals scored in a season by a relegated team: 71, Karbalaa (1994–95, 46 games) Fewest failures to score in a match in a season: 0 (scored in every game) – joint record:

Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(1976–77, 11 games) Al-Minaa
Al-Minaa
(1977–78, 13 games) Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(1997–98, 30 games)

Points

Most points in a season: 120, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
(1994–95, 46 games) Fewest points in a season: 1 – joint record:

Babil (1977–78, 13 games) Al-Adhamiya (1980–81, 11 games) Al-Jaish (2006–07, 6 games)

Most points in a season without winning the league: 110 – joint record:

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
(1999–2000, 50 games) Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(1999–2000, 50 games)

Fewest points in a season while winning the league: 17, Al-Talaba (1980–81, 11 games)

Player records[edit]

Appearances

Youngest player: Amjad Kalaf, 13 years and 101 days (for Al-Kut v. Al-Basra, 14 January 2005) First ever non-Iraqi players to play in the league: Ismaël Bangoura (Guinea) for Erbil, Yousef Saeed Meziyan (Palestine) for Zakho and Soualio Bakayoko (Benin) for Zakho (2 January 2010)

Titles

Most Premier League winners' medals: 7, Salam Hashim (3 with Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
in 1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89 and 4 with Al-Zawraa in 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95 and 1995–96) Most Premier League winners' medals as captain: 3 – joint record:

Hazem Jassam (three with Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
in 1975–76, 1976–77 and 1978–79) Ahmed Radhi (one with Al-Rasheed
Al-Rasheed
in 1988–89 and two with Al-Zawraa in 1990–91 and 1998–99)

Goals

First Premier League goal: Falah Hassan (for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
v. Al-Sinaa, 4 October 1974) Most Premier League goals: Sahib Abbas (177) Most goals in a season: 36, Younis Abed Ali
Younis Abed Ali
(1993–94, 50 games) Most goals in a single game: 6, Shakir Mohammed Sabbar (for Al-Ramadi v. Kirkuk, 1994–95) Fastest goal: 7 seconds, Alaa Abdul-Sattar (for Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
v. Al-Kadhimiya, 25 January 2002) First non-Iraqi player to score a hat-trick: Jean Michel N'Lend (for Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
v. Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, 18 November 2012) First goalkeeper to score a goal: Raad Hammoudi (for Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
v. Al-Samawa, 1975–76) First goalkeeper to score a goal from his own half: Ahmed Obaid (for Al-Karkh v. Al-Sulaikh, 21 February 1997)

Top 5 all-time goalscorers

Player Period Club(s) Goals

1 Sahib Abbas 1991–2011 Salahaddin, Al-Zawraa, Al-Talaba, Karbalaa, Al-Sinaa, Al-Hindiya 177

2 Karim Saddam 1980–1996 Al-Sinaa, Al-Jaish, Al-Rasheed, Al-Zawraa, Al-Shorta 165

3 Ali Hashim 1987–2004 Al-Najaf, Al-Karkh 162

4 Younis Abed Ali 1983–2001 Al-Shorta, Al-Rasheed, Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Estiqlal 153

5 Amjad Radhi 2006–present Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Erbil 140[a]

^ Amjad Radhi scored a further three goals that have since been discounted. The first was against Al- Mosul
Mosul
on 4 May 2010; Radhi scored in a 2–1 win for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
but the match was later awarded as a 3–0 win instead. The second was against Karbalaa on 15 August 2010; Radhi scored for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
but the game was abandoned in the 50th minute with the scores at 1–1 due to crowd trouble and was later awarded as a 3–0 win to Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya
due to Karbalaa not turning up for the replay four days later. The third was against Erbil on 26 October 2016; Radhi scored in a 3–1 win for Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya but the match was later annulled after Erbil
Erbil
withdrew from the league.

Golden Boot award

Season Top scorer Club Goals

1974–75 Thamer Yousif Al-Naqil 13

1975–76 Thamer Yousif Al-Zawraa 13

1976–77 Zahrawi Jaber Al-Shorta 6

1977–78 Jalil Hanoon Al-Minaa 11

1978–79 Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa 7

1979–80 Ali Hussein Mahmoud Al-Shorta 18

1980–81 Hussein Saeed Al-Talaba 11

1981–82 Thamer Yousif Al-Zawraa 14

1982–83 Hussein Saeed Al-Talaba 17

1983–84 Ali Hussein Mahmoud Al-Jaish 18

1985–86 Ahmed Radhi Al-Rasheed 9

Hussein Saeed Al-Talaba

Rahim Hameed Al-Jaish

1986–87 Rahim Hameed Al-Jaish 14

1987–88 Rahim Hameed Al-Jaish 15

1988–89 Karim Saddam Al-Zawraa 22

1989–90 Majid Abdul-Ridha Al-Shabab 13

Karim Saddam Al-Zawraa

1990–91 Karim Saddam Al-Zawraa 20

1991–92 Ahmed Radhi Al-Zawraa 34

1992–93 Karim Saddam Al-Zawraa 33

1993–94 Younis Abed Ali Al-Shorta 36

1994–95 Muayed Joodi Al-Karkh 30

1995–96 Hussam Fawzi Al-Zawraa 11

Ali Hassan Al-Karkh

1996–97 Ali Hashim Al-Najaf 19

1997–98 Mahmoud Majid Al-Shorta 22

1998–99 Ahmed Khudhair Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 19

Hashim Ridha Al-Shorta

1999–2000 Haidar Ayad Al-Nasiriya 28

2000–01 Hussein Abdullah Duhok 22

2001–02 Hashim Ridha Al-Shorta 32

2002–03 Ahmad Mnajed Al-Shorta 15

2004–05 Mustafa Karim Al-Kahraba 16

2005–06 Sahib Abbas Karbalaa 17

2006–07 Ahmad Salah Erbil 11

2007–08 Asaad Abdul-Nabi Al-Kahraba 14

2008–09 Ahmad Salah Erbil 15

2009–10 Amjad Radhi Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 31

2010–11 Luay Salah Erbil 17

2011–12 Hammadi Ahmad Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 27

2012–13 Amjad Radhi Erbil 25

2013–14 Ali Salah Al-Talaba 14

2014–15 Marwan Hussein Al-Shorta 15

2015–16 Hammadi Ahmad Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya 12

Mohannad Abdul-Raheem Al-Zawraa

2016–17 Alaa Abdul-Zahra Al-Zawraa 23

Match records[edit]

Scorelines

Biggest win: joint record:

Al-Naqil 11–0 Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
(12 October 1974) Al-Ramadi 11–0 Kirkuk
Kirkuk
(1994–95)

Managerial records[edit]

Titles

Most Premier League winners' medals: 3 – joint record:

Jamal Salih (one with Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
and two with Al-Rasheed) Thair Ahmed (one with Al-Talaba
Al-Talaba
and two with Erbil) Basim Qasim (one each with Duhok, Al-Zawraa
Al-Zawraa
and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya)

List of winning managers

Season Nationality Winning manager Club

1974–75 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Abdelilah Mohammed Hassan Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

1975–76 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa

1976–77 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Saadi Salih Al-Zawraa

1977–78 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Jamil Hanoon Al-Minaa

1978–79 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Anwar Jassam Al-Zawraa

1979–80 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Douglas Aziz Al-Shorta

1980–81 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Talaba

1981–82 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Talaba

1982–83 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Wathiq Naji Salahaddin

1983–84 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Munthir Al-Waadh Al-Jaish

1985–86 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Yahya Alwan Al-Talaba

1986–87 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Nasrat Nassir Al-Rasheed

1987–88 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Rasheed

1988–89 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Jamal Salih Al-Rasheed

1989–90 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Amer Jamil Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

1990–91 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Falah Hassan Al-Zawraa

1991–92 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Adil Yousef Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

1992–93 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Talaba

1993–94 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Ammo Baba Al-Zawraa

1994–95 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Hadi Mutanish Al-Zawraa

1995–96 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa

1996–97 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Ayoub Odisho Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

1997–98 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed Al-Shorta

1998–99 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Amer Jamil Al-Zawraa

1999–2000 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Adnan Hamad Al-Zawraa

2000–01 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Sabah Abdul-Jalil Al-Zawraa

2001–02 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Thair Ahmed Al-Talaba

2002–03 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Abdelilah Abdul-Hamed Al-Shorta

2004–05 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Sabah Abdul-Jalil Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

2005–06 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Salih Radhi Al-Zawraa

2006–07 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Akram Salman Erbil

2007–08 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Thair Ahmed Erbil

2008–09 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Thair Ahmed Erbil

2009–10 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Basim Qasim Duhok

2010–11 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Radhi Shenaishil Al-Zawraa

2011–12 Syria
Syria
! Syria Nizar Mahrous Erbil

2012–13 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Thair Jassam Al-Shorta

2013–14 Brazil
Brazil
! Brazil Lorival Santos Al-Shorta

2014–15 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Abdul Ghani Shahad Naft Al-Wasat

2015–16 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Basim Qasim Al-Zawraa

2016–17 Iraq
Iraq
! Iraq Basim Qasim Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya

See also[edit]

List of Iraqi football champions Iraqi clubs in the AFC Club Competitions Iraqi Women's Premier League

References[edit]

^ http://www.goalzz.com/main.aspx?c=11428 Goalzz.com ^ http://alshorta.webs.com/league-table Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
Website ^ http://www.goalzz.com/main.aspx?g=305&winners=true Goalzz.com ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/iraqhist.html RSSSF ^ http://www.rsssf.com/tablesi/iraq74.html RSSSF ^ http://forum.kooora.com/f.aspx?t=35755825 Kooora Forums ^ http://www.niiiis.com/94-95.html NIIIIS.com ^ "The Iraq Football Association
Iraq Football Association
reveals the league shield for the 2012–13 season with materials imported from China". Goal.com (in Arabic). September 3, 2013.  ^ "League shield for the 1997–98 season". Al-Shorta
Al-Shorta
SC Website. April 30, 2017.  ^ "League shield for the 2001–02 season". Soccer Iraq. December 29, 2016.  ^ "League trophy for the 2004–05 season". Soccer Iraq. April 22, 2017.  ^ "League trophy for the 2007–08 season". GettyImages. April 30, 2017.  ^ http://www.goalzz.com/main.aspx?c=4070 Goalzz.com ^ http://alshorta.webs.com/league-table ^ http://alshorta.webs.com/2013-14-season Al Shorta Website ^ Kooora.com ^ Kamil Zaghir Statement ^ IraqSport ^ Kooora Forums

External links[edit]

Iraqi Football Website Goalzz FIFA Iraqi League - Hailoosport.com (Arabic) Iraqi League - Hailoosport.com

v t e

Football in Iraq

IFA IKFA (regional)

National teams

Men

National team U23 U20 U17

Women

National team U17

Others

Beach (men) Futsal (men)

League system

Men

Iraqi Premier League
Iraqi Premier League
(2017–18) Iraq
Iraq
Division One

Women

Iraqi Women's Premier League

Defunct (men)

Iraqi Central League Iraq
Iraq
FA Championship

Domestic cups

Men

Iraq
Iraq
FA Cup

Defunct (men)

Iraqi Elite Cup Iraqi Central FA Cup

Super cups

Men

Iraqi Super Cup
Iraqi Super Cup
(2017)

Lists

Champions Clubs Clubs by major honours Venues

Men's clubs Men's players Expatriate players Managers Referees Venues Asian Cup record World Cup record All-time record Records and statistics

v t e

Iraqi Premier League

2017–18 clubs

Al-Bahri Al-Diwaniya Al-Hedood Al-Hussein Al-Kahraba Al-Minaa Al-Naft Al-Najaf Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya Al-Samawa Al-Shorta Al-Sinaat Al-Kahrabaiya Al-Talaba Al-Zawraa Amanat Baghdad Karbalaa Naft Al-Janoob Naft Al-Wasat Naft Maysan Zakho

Seasons

1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79 1979–80 1980–81 1981–82 1982–83 1983–84 1984–85 1985–86 1986–87 1987–88 1988–89 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 1994–95 1995–96 1996–97 1997–98 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18

v t e

Top level football leagues of Asia (AFC)

Afghanistan Australia Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Cambodia China
China
PR Chinese Taipei Guam Hong Kong India
India
(I-League, Super League) Indonesia Iran Iraq Japan Jordan Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Lebanon Macau Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Myanmar Nepal North Korea Northern Mariana Islands† Oman Pakistan Palestine (Gaza Strip, West Bank) Philippines Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore South Korea Sri Lanka Syria Tajikistan Thailand Timor-Leste Turkmenistan United Arab Emirates Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen

† Associ

.