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.
|Dates||6 September 2021 – 28 May 2022|
|Champions||Al-Khaleej (2nd title)|
|Goals scored||825 (2.17 per match)|
|Top goalscorer||Carolus Andria|
|Biggest home win||Al-Sahel 5–0 Al-Khaleej|
(5 January 2022)
|Biggest away win||Al-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 scoring||Al-Jeel 3–6 Al-Sahel|
(14 December 2021)
|Longest winning run||Hajer|
|Longest unbeaten run||Al-Sahel|
|Longest winless run||Al-Kawkab|
|Longest losing run||Bisha|
2022–23 →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. Al-Adalah were promoted following a 0–0 draw away to Jeddah. Al-Wehda were promoted following a 3–0 away win against Al-Diriyah.
Bisha were the first team to be relegated on 5 May. They were relegated following a 2–1 defeat away to Al-Adalah. Al-Kawkab were relegated a day later following a 2–0 home defeat to Al-Jabalain. Al-Nahda became the third side to be relegated following a 3–0 defeat away to Ohod on 18 May. On 23 May, Al-Diriyah became the fourth side to be relegated despite a 2–1 away win against Bisha. On the final matchday, Al-Jeel became the fifth and final side to be relegated despite a 2–1 away win against Al-Nahda.
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.
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.
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.
The following teams have changed division since the 2021–22 season.
To the First Division LeagueEdit
Promoted from Second Division
Relegated from Pro League
From the First Division LeagueEdit
Promoted to Pro League
Relegated to Second Division
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. In the final matchday, both Al-Qadsiah and Al-Wehda were relegated following a draw with Abha and a loss against Al-Shabab respectively. 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. 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. 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.
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.
On 26 June 2021, the Saudi FF announced that the number of foreign players was increased from 4 players to 5 players.
Players name in bold indicates the player is registered during the mid-season transfer window.
|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|
|16||Al-Jeel (R)||38||11||14||13||37||51||−14||47[e]||Relegation to the Second Division|
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).
(C) Champion; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated
- 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).
- 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).
- Bisha were awarded a 3–0 win over Al-Ain due to Al-Ain's inability to hold the fixture.
- 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.
- 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.
|Promotion to the Pro League|
|Relegation to the Second Division|
- As of 28 May 2022