The Kategoria Superiore, officially known as Abissnet Superiore for sponsorship reasons, is a professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the Albanian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 10 clubs, and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Kategoria e Parë. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 36 matches each (playing each team in the league four times, twice at home and twice away).
|Founded||6 June 1930|
|Number of teams||10 (from 2014–15)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Kategoria e Parë|
|Domestic cup(s)||Albanian Cup|
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa Conference League
|Current champions||Tirana (26th title) |
|Most championships||Tirana (26 titles)|
|Top goalscorer||Vioresin Sinani (207 goals)[note 1]|
|Current: 2021–22 Kategoria Superiore|
The competition was founded in 1930 as the Albanian National Championship during the reign of King Zog, shortly after the creation of the Albanian Football Association. Since 1930, 45 clubs have competed in recognised competitions, while only nine clubs have won the title: Tirana (26), Dinamo Tirana (18), Partizani (16), Vllaznia (9), Skënderbeu (8), Elbasani (2), Teuta (2), Flamurtari (1), and Kukësi (1). The current champions are Tirana, who won their 26th title in 2021–22.
Football was first introduced to Albania by an English-Maltese priest named Gut Ruter, who visited the Saverian college in Shkodër in 1908. The first football club in Albania was Indipendenca, founded in Shkodër in 1912 by Palokë Nika. The first 90-minute game to be played with two 45 minute halves took place in October 1913 between Indipendenca Shkodër and the occupying Austro-Hungarian Imperial Navy. The game is considered to be the first international game to be played in Albania, and it ended in a 2–1 loss for Indipendenca, with the captain and founder of the club Palokë Nika scoring the only goal for the Albanians.
1911 Fier Fair Football TournamentEdit
In 2012 historians discovered that a football tournament had taken place in Albania in 1911, some 19 years before the establishment of the Albanian National Championship and the Albanian Football Association. The Fier Fair Football Tournament (Albanian: Turneu Futbollistik i Panairit të Fierit) took place in Rahije, Fier while Albania was still under the administration of the Ottoman Empire and it consisted of 8 teams which were Tirana, Elbasani, Kavaja, Berati, Peqini, Vlora, Fieri and Lushnja. Tirana won the tournament after defeating Peqini 6–1 in the final. The tournament is not officially recognised by the Albanian Football Association or UEFA. The Albanian Football Association did not organise the tournament as the organisation was not formed until 1930.
World War II championshipsEdit
Albania was invaded by Italy in April 1939 and World War II soon broke out, meaning the Albanian Football Association, much like the other organisations in the country, ceased operating. Despite the war, three championships were held between 1939 and 1942, with Tirana winning the championships in 1939 and 1942 and Shkodra winning in 1940. Despite calls to recognise these championships, the Albanian Football Association maintains the position that the championships were not organised by them and cannot be formally recognised.
|Turneu Futbollistik i Panairit të Fierit||Fier Fair Football Tournament||1911||The tournament remains unrecognized by the Albanian Football Association or UEFA, while the Albanian Football Association was formed in 1930. Many people consider this tournament to be the predecessor to the Kategoria Superiore.|
|Kampionati Kombëtar Shqiptar||Albanian National Championship||1930–2003||N/A|
|Kategoria Superiore||Superior Category||2003–present||The official name, even though from 2021 for sponsorship reasons the name changes.|
|Abissnet Superiore||2021–present||Sponsored by Abissnet.|
Most points in a season 84 points. KF Tirana (2004-05)
Most points without winning the league title 79 points. KF Elbasani (2004-05)
First Albanian team to qualify for a European competition. KF Skenderbeu (2017-18) Europa League
Since the 2014–15 Kategoria Superiore, the league consists of 10 clubs, who face each other four times in a conventional round-robin tournament for a total of 36 matches. At the end of the season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to the Kategoria e Parë, while two highest-placed teams of the Kategoria e Parë are promoted in their place. The 8th ranked team qualifies to the play-off round, which they play against the Kategoria e Parë play-off winner. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head record, then goal difference, and then goals scored.
|Dinamo||2nd (Kategoria e Parë)|
|Egnatia||1st (Kategoria e Parë)|
List of championsEdit
Since 1930, the competition has not been played a total of 9 times: 1935, 1938–44, 1949, 1962. Furthermore, the champion award was not given during the 1968–69 season.
Performance by clubEdit
All time tableEdit
The all-time table of football clubs that have participated in the Kategoria Superiore, prior to the 2021–2022 season. The ranking is based on the total accumulated points by each club. Teams in bold are part of the 2021-22 season.
|41||24 Maj Përmet||1||26||4||5||1||9:44||-35||13||—|
Current rankings (2021–22)Edit
UEFA Country Ranking for league participation in 2021–22 European football season (Previous year rank in italics).
- 34 (43) Luxembourg National Division
- 35 (41) A Lyga
- 36 (44) Armenian Premier League
- 37 (42) Latvian Higher League
- 38 (36) Kategoria Superiore
- 39 (34) Macedonian First Football League
- 40 (40) Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 41 (35) Moldovan National Division
- 42 (37) League of Ireland Premier Division
Citations  </ref>
- Admir Uruçi (12 January 2012). "Vioresin Sinani thotë mjaft: E mbyll si futbollist në fund të këtij edicioni" [Vioresin Sinani says enough: I finish as a player at the end of the season] (in Albanian). Panorama Sport. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- Gjergj Kola. "Palokë Nika – personazhi historik i sportit Shqiptar" (in Albanian). Shkodra Sport. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- "Një historik i shkurtër i futbollit në Shkodër" (in Albanian). Vllaznia.al. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014.
- Sport Ekspres, 14 February 2012, page 7 Archived 26 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- AFA's General Assembly: War championships are not legitimate Archived 20 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Firmoset marrëveshja, Kategoria Superiore do të quhet "Abissnet Superiore" për 3 sezonet e ardhshme" [The agreement is signed, the Kategoria Superiore will be called "Abissnet Superiore" for the next 3 seasons] (in Albanian). Albanian Football Association. 10 September 2021.
- "Kategoria Superiore: Summary". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
- Shifrat e 79 Kampionateve
- Things That Makes Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi A Rivals. Retrieved 18 August 2020 – via Legitloaded.com.