2021–22 Saudi First Division League

The 2021–22 First Division League (known as the Yelo League for sponsorship reasons) was the 1st season of the Saudi First Division League after its rebrand, and the 45th season of the Saudi First Division since its establishment in 1976. The season started on 6 September 2021 and concluded on 28 May 2022.[1][2]

First Division League
Season2021–22
Dates6 September 2021 – 28 May 2022
ChampionsAl-Khaleej (2nd title)
PromotedAl-Khaleej
Al-Adalah
Al-Wehda
RelegatedAl-Jeel
Al-Diriyah
Al-Nahda
Al-Kawkab
Bisha
Matches played380
Goals scored825 (2.17 per match)
Top goalscorerCarolus Andria
(25 goals)
Biggest home winAl-Sahel 5–0 Al-Khaleej
(5 January 2022)
Biggest away winAl-Qadsiah 0–4 Al-Sahel
(5 October 2021)
Al-Jeel 1–5 Al-Khaleej
(18 January 2022)
Al-Kawkab 0–4 Al-Ain
(23 May 2022)
Highest scoringAl-Jeel 3–6 Al-Sahel
(14 December 2021)
Longest winning runHajer
Ohod
(5 matches)
Longest unbeaten runAl-Sahel
(10 matches)
Longest winless runAl-Kawkab
(26 matches)
Longest losing runBisha
(7 matches)
All statistics correct as of 28 May 2022.

All three teams were promoted on the final day of the season. Al-Khaleej were promoted and crowned champions following a 0–0 away draw with Najran.[3] Al-Adalah were promoted following a 0–0 draw away to Jeddah.[4] Al-Wehda were promoted following a 3–0 away win against Al-Diriyah.[5]

Bisha were the first team to be relegated on 5 May. They were relegated following a 2–1 defeat away to Al-Adalah.[6] Al-Kawkab were relegated a day later following a 2–0 home defeat to Al-Jabalain.[7] Al-Nahda became the third side to be relegated following a 3–0 defeat away to Ohod on 18 May.[8] On 23 May, Al-Diriyah became the fourth side to be relegated despite a 2–1 away win against Bisha.[9] On the final matchday, Al-Jeel became the fifth and final side to be relegated despite a 2–1 away win against Al-Nahda.[10]

OverviewEdit

ChangesEdit

On 9 October 2020, the Saudi FF announced that the number of teams in the league would be decreased to 18 starting from the 2022–23 season. To prepare for these changes it was announced that 5 teams would be relegated in the 2021–22 season and only 3 teams would be promoted from the 2021–22 Second Division.[11]

RebrandEdit

On 26 August 2021, the newly appointed executive director of the FDL, Talal Al-Obaidi, announced a rebrand; beginning with the 2021–22 season, the competition would be known as the First Division League (FDL). As part of the rebranding, a new logo was introduced.[12][13]

Name sponsorshipEdit

On 1 September 2021, the FDL announced a sponsorship with car rental company Yelo. As part of the sponsorship deal, the First Division League would be known as the Yelo League for the next 3 seasons.[14][15]

Team changesEdit

The following teams have changed division since the 2021–22 season.

TeamsEdit

A total of 20 teams are contesting the league, including 13 sides from the 2020–21 season, 4 promoted teams from the Second Division and the three relegated sides from the Pro League.

The first club to be relegated to the First Division League was Al-Ain, who were relegated after only a year in the top flight 2–0 defeat away to Al-Nassr on 14 May 2021.[16] In the final matchday, both Al-Qadsiah and Al-Wehda were relegated following a draw with Abha and a loss against Al-Shabab respectively.[17] Al-Qadsiah were relegated after only a year in the top flight while Al-Wehda were relegated after three years in the top flight.

The first club to be promoted was Al-Orobah who were promoted despite a 1–0 away defeat to Afif on 27 March 2021.[18] On 3 April 2021, both Al-Okhdood and Bisha were promoted. Al-Okhdood were promoted following a 1–1 draw with Al-Taqadom while Bisha were promoted following a 2–0 win over Al-Jandal.[19] The final club to be promoted was Al-Kholood, who were promoted following a 3–1 away win over Al-Dahab in the final matchday.[20]

Al-Okhdood defeated Al-Orobah 4–2 on penalties (3–3 after extra time) to win their second title and first since 1992.[21]

Al-Kholood and Bisha will play in the First Division League for the first time in their history. Al-Orobah return after an absence of two seasons and will play in their 13th overall season in the First Division League. Al-Okhdood return to the First Division League for the first time since the 1992–93 season. They will play in their 2nd season in the First Division League.

Stadia and locationsEdit

Note: Table lists in alphabetical order.
Team Location Stadium Capacity
Al-Adalah Al-Hasa (Al-Hulaylah) Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium
Hajer Club Stadium
26,000[22]
12,000
Al-Ain Al Bahah King Saud Sport City Stadium 10,000[23]
Al-Diriyah Diriyah Prince Turki bin Abdul Aziz Stadium (Riyadh) 15,000[24]
Al-Jabalain Ha'il Prince Abdul Aziz bin Musa'ed Stadium 12,000[25]
Al-Jeel Al-Hasa (Hofuf) Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium
Hajer Club Stadium
26,000
12,000
Al-Kawkab Al-Kharj Al-Shoulla Club Stadium 5,200[26]
Al-Khaleej Saihat Al-Khaleej Club Stadium 10,000[27]
Al-Kholood Ar Rass Al-Hazem Club Stadium
Al-Bukiryah Club Stadium (Al Bukayriyah)
8,000[28]
5,000
Al-Nahda Dammam Prince Fahd bin Salman Stadium
Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Stadium
15,000[29]
35,000
Al-Okhdood Najran Prince Hathloul bin Abdul Aziz Sport City Stadium
Najran University Stadium
12,000[30]
10,000[31]
Al-Orobah Sakakah Al-Orobah Club Stadium 6,000[32]
Al-Qadsiah Khobar Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium 15,000[33]
Al-Sahel Anak Prince Saud bin Jalawi Stadium (Khobar) 15,000
Al-Shoulla Al-Kharj Al-Shoulla Club Stadium 5,200
Al-Wehda Mecca King Abdul Aziz Stadium 38,000
Bisha Bisha Bisha University Stadium
King Saud Sport City Stadium (Al Bahah)
2,000
10,000
Hajer Al-Hasa (Hofuf) Hajer Club Stadium
Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Stadium
12,000[34]
26,000
Jeddah Jeddah Reserve Stadium in King Abdullah Sports City 1,000[35]
Najran Najran Prince Hathloul bin Abdul Aziz Sport City Stadium
Najran University Stadium
12,000
10,000
Ohod Medina Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Stadium 24,000[36]

Foreign playersEdit

On 26 June 2021, the Saudi FF announced that the number of foreign players was increased from 4 players to 5 players.[37]

Players name in bold indicates the player is registered during the mid-season transfer window.

Club Player 1 Player 2 Player 3 Player 4 Player 5 Former Players
Al-Adalah   Alan   Nailson   Ibrahima Tandia   Tunde Adeniji   Ogenyi Onazi   Achraf Krir
Al-Ain   Othman Alhaj   Othman Hassan   Reuben Gabriel
Al-Diriyah   Hacène Ogbi   Wesley   Marius Obekop   Joseph Adjei   Mahmoud Al-Youssef   Gelson
  Ibrahim Salis
Al-Jabalain   Nabil Saâdou   Rogerinho   Teco   Marlon   Ricardo Ribeiro   Jefferson
  Tiago Orobó
Al-Jeel   Faisal Abu Bakr   Abdulaziz N'Diaye   Abdullah Jenyat   Zied El Bakouch   Aymen Trabelsi   Romarinho
  Ahmad Al Douni
Al-Kawkab   Franck Julienne   Badreddine Benachour   Falou Samb   Hamza Ben Abda   Oussema Ben Ayed
Al-Khaleej   Diego Miranda   Mamadou Soro   Samuel Sarfo   Miodrag Gemović   Mondher Guesmi
Al-Kholood   Islam Chahrour   Nasreddine Zaâlani   Malek Shalabiya   Aniekpeno Udo   Khemais Maaouani   Sid Ahmed Aouadj
  Mohamed Salem
  Prince Obus Aggreh
Al-Nahda   Rachid Nadji   Mohammad Zureiqat   Nabil Aankour   Abdulaziz Noor   Bilel Souissi   Michael Sarpong
  Ifeanyi Anaemena
  Fehmi Kacem
Al-Okhdood   Kaká Mendes   Maicon Douglas   Reinaldo Dutra   Issam Al Sabhi   Alaya Brigui   Hugo Cabral
  Taylon Correa
Al-Orobah   Rayllan Bruno   Dudu   Philipe Maia   Aboubacar Diarra   Abdoulaye Dieng [ar]   Héldon Ramos
Al-Qadsiah   Cédric Amissi   Ibrahim Diomandé [ar]   Ibrahim Amada   Moha Rharsalla   Uroš Vitas   Carlão
  Leandro Carvalho
  Muralha
Al-Sahel   Jhonnattann Benites   Uilliam   Victor   Lawson Bekui   Daniel Ajibola
Al-Shoulla   Pitty   Sylla Daouda   Piqueti   Omar Wade   Ovidy Karuru   Mario Budimir
Al-Wehda   Ahmed Abdu Jaber   Karim Yoda   Ousmane Barry   Soualio Ouattara   Alberto Botía
Bisha   Sid Ahmed Aouadj   Guillaume Daho   Seydouba Camara   Seifeddine Akremi   Mohamed Ben Tarcha   Kaddour Beldjilali
  Elvis Rupia
  Saith Sakala
Hajer   Adriano Pardal   Fernando Gabriel   Lázaro   Ismail Kouakou   Modibo Maïga
Jeddah   Mohammad Fouad   Junior Magbi   Emanuel Novo   Alaeddine Bouslimi   Bilel Khefifi   Breno
  Halef Pitbull
  Mohamed Abdelmaguid
  Ally Niyonzima
Najran   Carlos Henrique   Izaka Aboudou   Kwame Quee   Borhen Hkimi   Oussema Boughanmi   Rafael Costa
  Seifeddine Jerbi
Ohod   Sofiane Khelili   Goran Zakarić   Carolus Andria   Zakaria Lahlali   Ouday Belhaj   Mourad Hedhli

League tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Al-Khaleej (C, P) 38 18 12 8 51 36 +15 66[a] Promotion to the Pro League
2 Al-Adalah (P) 38 18 12 8 42 32 +10 66[a]
3 Al-Wehda (P) 38 17 14 7 51 29 +22 65
4 Hajer 38 18 9 11 44 31 +13 63
5 Al-Jabalain 38 17 10 11 48 39 +9 61
6 Ohod 38 15 14 9 51 42 +9 59
7 Al-Qadsiah 38 14 13 11 40 32 +8 55
8 Al-Kholood 38 14 12 12 40 36 +4 54
9 Al-Orobah 38 13 13 12 45 44 +1 52[b]
10 Najran 38 13 13 12 38 33 +5 52[b]
11 Al-Ain 38 11 16 11 38 41 −3 49[c]
12 Al-Okhdood 38 12 12 14 43 44 −1 48[d]
13 Al-Sahel 38 12 12 14 50 43 +7 48[d]
14 Al-Shoulla 38 10 18 10 40 34 +6 48[d]
15 Jeddah 38 12 11 15 35 39 −4 47[e]
16 Al-Jeel (R) 38 11 14 13 37 51 −14 47[e] Relegation to the Second Division
17 Al-Diriyah (R) 38 10 12 16 38 56 −18 42
18 Al-Nahda (R) 38 8 14 16 37 52 −15 38
19 Al-Kawkab (R) 38 4 15 19 30 54 −24 27
20 Bisha (R) 38 5 10 23 27 57 −30 25[c]
Updated to match(es) played on 28 May 2022. Source: goalzz.com
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Head-to-head points; 3) Head-to-head goal difference; 4) Total goal difference; 5) Total goals scored; 6) Fair-play points (Note: Head-to-head record is used only after all the matches between the teams in question have been played).[39]
(C) Champion; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Al-Khaleej finished ahead of Al-Adalah on overall goal difference: Al-Khaleej +15, Al-Adalah +10 (Al-Khaleej 2–2 Al-Adalah, Al-Adalah 0–0 Al-Khaleej).
  2. ^ a b Al-Orobah finished ahead of Najran on head-to-head points: Al-Orobah: 4, Najran: 1 (Najran 1–2 Al-Orobah, Al-Orobah 0–0 Najran).
  3. ^ a b Bisha were awarded a 3–0 win over Al-Ain due to Al-Ain's inability to hold the fixture.[38]
  4. ^ a b c Al-Okhdood finished ahead of Al-Sahel and Al-Shoulla on head-to-head points: Al-Okhdood: 8 pts; Al-Sahel: 3 pts; Al-Shoulla: 3 pts. Al-Sahel finished ahead of Al-Shoulla on overall goal difference: Al-Sahel +7, Al-Shoulla +6.
  5. ^ a b Jeddah finished ahead of Al-Jeel on head-to-head points: Jeddah: 4, Al-Jeel: 1 (Jeddah 0–0 Al-Jeel, Al-Jeel 1–2 Jeddah).

Positions by roundEdit

The table lists the positions of teams after each week of matches. In order to preserve chronological evolvements, any postponed matches are not included in the round at which they were originally scheduled but added to the full round they were played immediately afterward.

Team ╲ Round1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738
Al-Khaleej75232112233111111111121211111111111111
Al-Adalah41111221112222233222212122244433322222
Al-Wehda22483334674468655777566666633322234543
Hajer19912121586321333568646645454355665555334
Al-Jabalain1918141513597556101413101310964454545522244443455
Ohod64366959111111854322433333333466556667666
Al-Qadsiah1215104101214171313121399797101212121010777778777776777
Al-Kholood2020201719192020181919161617151213111191011999889111088888888
Al-Orobah51211574637891411111181112910977889101010119999910109
Najran117813141616181916161717151411981011111212131414987811101010109910
Al-Ain1416192018171719202020201920202020191919191818171717181816151715161615151211
Al-Okhdood181116182020191386797787658889111110101111991011111111111112
Al-Sahel914171915812161614141285444355788101111121212141213131214131413
Al-Shoulla81362464544554691012131314141413121313141313121414141412141514
Jeddah171715109141310129861010121415161717151617151212131414131516151313121315
Al-Jeel106798101014171515151516181817181516171715181818161615171312121516161616
Al-Diriyah33511571189101071214161718151613131516141515171717181817171717171717
Al-Nahda13812711131515151817181818171514141415161314161616151518161618181818181818
Al-Kawkab161918141611711101213111312131616171818181919191919191919191919191919191919
Bisha1510131617181812141718192019191919202020202020202020202020202020202020202020
Leader
Promotion to the Pro League
Relegation to the Second Division
Updated to match(es) played on 28 May 2022. Source:[citation needed]

ResultsEdit

Home \ Away ADA AIN DIR JAB JEL KAW KHJ KHO NAH OKH ORO QAD SAH SHO WHD BIS HJR JED NAJ OHD
Al-Adalah 1–1 3–0 0–2 1–1 2–1 0–0 1–0 1–2 0–1 3–3 1–1 1–0 1–0 0–2 2–1 1–0 1–1 2–1 2–1
Al-Ain 2–0 0–0 1–1 2–2 2–1 1–1 0–1 1–0 1–1 3–0 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 2–2 0–0 1–0 1–1 1–4
Al-Diriyah 0–1 3–1 1–1 1–2 2–2 0–2 1–3 1–1 2–1 1–0 0–2 2–4 1–2 0–3 2–0 1–1 2–1 1–1 1–1
Al-Jabalain 1–2 1–0 3–2 2–2 1–0 1–2 1–1 1–2 2–2 2–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 0–0 0–1 2–0 2–1 2–0 0–3
Al-Jeel 0–2 2–3 1–0 0–2 0–0 1–5 3–2 2–1 0–1 0–2 1–0 3–6 1–0 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–2 0–3 2–2
Al-Kawkab 0–1 0–4 1–1 0–2 1–2 3–2 1–1 2–0 1–2 2–3 0–2 0–0 1–0 0–2 0–1 2–3 0–1 0–1 0–1
Al-Khaleej 2–2 1–2 2–0 0–0 1–1 3–1 1–0 5–2 3–1 1–2 1–0 1–0 0–0 1–2 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–1 1–0
Al-Kholood 1–2 2–0 0–0 3–1 2–0 0–0 1–1 2–0 3–0 1–1 1–1 3–2 1–1 0–0 1–0 1–0 0–0 3–1 1–1
Al-Nahda 0–0 1–1 2–0 1–1 0–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–3 0–2 2–0 1–2 2–1 0–2 3–0
Al-Okhdood 0–0 4–0 2–3 3–1 0–1 2–0 0–1 0–1 2–1 2–1 1–2 2–1 1–1 1–1 1–0 2–1 0–1 0–0 1–2
Al-Orobah 1–0 0–0 3–1 1–0 2–2 1–1 0–1 1–0 2–2 1–1 2–1 0–0 0–0 0–0 4–1 1–2 2–1 0–0 1–3
Al-Qadsiah 0–2 0–1 0–0 2–1 0–0 1–1 1–2 1–0 0–0 3–1 1–0 0–4 2–1 0–2 2–1 3–0 3–0 0–0 3–0
Al-Sahel 1–1 1–0 0–0 1–0 2–1 4–1 5–0 3–1 0–0 1–1 1–3 0–1 1–1 0–1 2–1 1–4 2–1 0–0 1–2
Al-Shoulla 0–1 1–1 4–0 0–1 0–0 1–1 0–0 3–1 0–2 1–2 1–0 1–1 1–1 2–2 2–0 1–0 2–2 2–1 1–1
Al-Wehda 0–0 1–0 1–1 1–3 0–1 1–2 1–1 2–0 3–1 2–1 5–1 1–1 3–0 0–0 1–2 1–0 2–0 0–1 3–3
Bisha 2–3 3–0[40] 1–2 0–2 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–2 0–0 0–3 1–3 0–1 1–2 0–0 1–2 0–1
Hajer 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–2 2–0 1–1 2–0 4–0 2–0 1–0 0–0 2–0 2–1 1–0 2–0 0–0 2–1 0–0 1–1
Jeddah 0–0 2–1 1–2 0–1 0–0 0–0 0–2 1–0 2–0 0–0 1–0 0–3 2–0 0–0 2–1 4–1 0–1 1–2 1–1
Najran 2–1 1–0 0–1 3–2 2–0 1–1 0–0 0–1 2–0 2–2 1–2 2–1 0–0 0–1 1–1 3–0 0–1 0–2 1–1
Ohod 0–1 0–0 2–1 1–1 0–2 0–0 3–2 0–1 3–0 1–0 1–0 1–1 2–2 2–2 1–2 2–1 2–0 1–2 1–0
Updated to match(es) played on 28 May 2022. Source: goalzz.com
Legend: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

StatisticsEdit

As of 28 May 2022