Afghan Premier League
The Afghan Premier League (APL), also known as Rahmani Foundation Afghan Premier League for sponsorship reasons, is a professional men's soccer league run by the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF). It is the country's primary competition for the sport. The competition commenced in September 2012. The league is currently contested by eight teams. Seasons run from September to October followed by a Finals Series involving the top two highest-placed teams in each of the two tables of four teams. Successful Afghan Premier League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the AFC Cup. All games are played at the Afghanistan Football Federation Stadium in Kabul.
|Number of teams||8|
|International cup(s)||AFC Cup|
|Current champions||Toofan Harirod (3rd title) |
|Most championships||Shaheen Asmayee (4 titles)|
|TV partners||TOLO and Lemar|
Since the league's inaugural season, a total of three clubs have been crowned Afghan Premier League champions. Shaheen Asmayee have the record of 4 premier league titles, the most a team has won. Toofan Harirod are the current champions, winning 1–0 in the 2019 Afghan Premier League Final against Shaheen Asmayee F.C.
The League was established in 2012 with the first season running through September and October of that year. 8 teams were concurrently established in 2012 to become the inaugural competitors.
Before 2012, the league in Afghanistan was broken down into 7 groups that covered the country.
Players for the league were selected with the help of a reality television talent show called Maidan e sabz ("The Green Pitch"), helmed by Mokhtar Lashkari, star of Tolo TV, Afghanistan's equivalent of The Oprah Winfrey Show.
The concept came from the Afghanistan Football Federation and the Afghanistan-based MOBY Group, which owns a number of TV channels and radio stations and is the largest media group in the country. MOBY Group channels will broadcast matches. Players were voted onto teams by a jury and by the television audience. The 34 provinces were grouped into eight larger zones. Eight teams of 18 players, one from every region, were formed.
The Afghan High Peace Council has praised the creation and development of the League as an, "opportunity to bring peace and stability" to Afghanistan. The process has given opportunities to minorities such as the Hazara who were treated as an underclass. Many players and supporters have undergone considerable trauma for which the League serves as a form of therapy. Along with the Shpageeza Cricket League which started in 2013, Afghan Premier League football is one of the few big sporting competitions in Afghanistan, offering precious relief from the violence of every day life.
Shaheen Asmayee F.C. have won a record 4 Afghan Premier League titles (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017). They are the only team to have reached the Afghan Premier League final in seven consecutive seasons (2013–2019).
|Team||City||Region||First season||APL titles|
|De Abasin Sape F.C.||Khost||Southeast||2012||0|
|De Maiwand Atalan F.C.||Kandahar||South||2012||0|
|De Spin Ghar Bazan F.C.||Jalalabad||East||2012||1|
|Mawjhai Amu F.C.||Kunduz||Northeast||2012||0|
|Oqaban Hindukush F.C.||Ghazni||Central||2012||0|
|Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||Kabul||Greater Kabul||2012||4|
|Simorgh Alborz F.C.||Mazar-i-Sharif||Northwest||2012||0|
|Toofan Harirod F.C.||Herat||West||2012||3|
Private media group Moby Group has the official rights to cover all matches of the APL. The matches are aired live on the company's two television channels in Afghanistan, namely TOLO and Lemar, and also offer live commentary on their radio stations, Arman FM and Arakozia FM. Matches are also available live on the world's largest video sharing website YouTube on the league's official YouTube page.
Roshan Telecom is the title sponsor of Afghan Premier League after which it is named as Roshan Afghan Premier League. Official Partners of Afghan Premier League are Afghanistan International Bank and Hummel International which provided kit for the teams.
|Year||Winner||Finals result||Runners-up||Top Scorers (golden boot)||Goals|
|2012||Toofan Harirod F.C.||2–1||Simorgh Alborz F.C.||Hamidullah Karimi (Toofan Harirod F.C.)||9|
|2013||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||3–1 a.e.t.||Simorgh Alborz F.C.||Hamidullah Karimi (Toofan Harirod F.C.), Hashmatullah Barakzai (Shaheen Asmayee F.C.)||7|
|2014||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||3–2||Oqaban Hindukush F.C.||Mohammad Riza Rizayee (Oqaban Hindukush F.C.)||6|
|2015||De Spin Ghar Bazan F.C.||3–3 Penalties||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||Mustafa Afshar (De Maiwand Atalan F.C.)||5|
|2016||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||2–1 a.e.t||De Maiwand Atalan F.C.||Amrruddin Sharifi (Shaheen Asmayee F.C.)||6|
|2017||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||4–3 a.e.t.||De Maiwand Atalan F.C.||Amrruddin Sharifi (De Maiwand Atalan F.C.)||5|
|2018||Toofan Harirod F.C.||1–0 a.e.t.||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||Yar Mohammad Zakarkhel (Toofaan Harirod F.C.)|
|2019||Toofan Harirod F.C.||1–0 a.e.t.||Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||Raoof Qaderi (Shaheen Asmayee F.C.)|
Performances by Team
|Shaheen Asmayee F.C.||4 (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)||3 (2015, 2018, 2019)|
|Toofan Harirod F.C.||3 (2012, 2018, 2019)||0|
|De Spin Ghar Bazan F.C.||1 (2015)||0|
|Simorgh Alborz F.C.||0||2 (2012, 2013)|
|De Maiwand Atalan F.C.||0||2 (2016, 2017)|
|Oqaban Hindukush F.C.||0||1 (2014)|
|De Abasin Sape F.C.||0||0|
|Mawjhai Amu F.C.||0||0|
- Afghan Premier League on Latestinfos.com
- "Preview & post reports". APL. AFL. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
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- Activity Report Second quarter 2007. Afghanistan Football Federation. 2008 [circa]. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
- Roshan Afghan Premier League a hit with fans by Tahir Qadiry (BBC News, 22 September 2012)
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- "Afghanistan cricket fans defy bombers as T20 league takes off - Sports News". India Today. Reuters. September 15, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
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- YouTube – Afghan Premier League
- Afghan Premier League – Sponsors
- "A quick review of the RFAPL 2018". APL. October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
- "A quick review of the APL 2019". APL. October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.