The Botola (Arabic: البطولة, "The Tournament"), also known as Moroccan Premier League (MPL) or Moroccan Champions League (MCL) Maroc Telecom for sponsorship reasons, is a Moroccan professional league for men's association football clubs. At the top of the Moroccan football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by 16 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Football League.
Botola logo after 2015 sponsorship with mobile carrier Maroc Telecom.
|Number of teams||16|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Botola 2|
|Domestic cup(s)||Coupe du Trône|
|International cup(s)||Champions League |
|Current champions||Wydad Casablanca (20) 2018–19|
|Most championships||Wydad Casablanca (20)|
|TV partners||Al Aoula, Arryadiya, |
2M TV, BeIN Sports
The Premier League is a corporation in which the 16 member clubs act as shareholders, Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 30 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away) totalling 214 matches in the season. Most games are played in the afternoons of Saturdays and Sundays, the other games during weekday evenings. It is sponsored by Maroc Télécom and thus known as the Botola-Ittisalat. Outside England[clarification needed], it is commonly referred to as the Moroccan Premier League (MPL).
The competition formed as the FRFM on 20 February 1992 following the decision of clubs in the Botola Pro to break away from the UNAF[clarification needed], which had been founded in 1911, and take advantage of a lucrative television rights deal. This deal is worth MAD 55 million a year domestically as of 2015–16, with Arryadia securing the domestic rights to broadcast games respectively. The league generates MAD 123 million per year in domestic and international television rights.
The Botola Pro is the most-watched football league in Africa, broadcasts in 153 territories to 54 million homes and a potential TV audience of 2 billion people[clarification needed]. In the 2010–11 season, the average Botola Pro match attendance was 25,363[clarification needed], the highest of any professional football league in Africa, and stadium occupancy was 92% capacity. The Premier League ranked second in the CAF 5-Zaers of leagues based on performances in African competitions over the last five years.
Of the 16 clubs to have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, five have won the title: Wydad Casablanca (14), Association Sportive des FAR (12), Raja de Casablanca (11), Magreb Fez (4) and Hašania Agadir (2). The current champions are Ittihad Tanger, who won the title in 2017-18. ° On 5 June 2016 FUS Rabat won the football championship for the first time after being runner-up to the title for 5 previous times.
Each year 16 teams compete for the championship. The two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Botola Elite 2 and the top two teams from Botola Elite 2 are promoted in their place to Botola Pro.
Since 2000, Maroc Telecom has been the official sponsor of the Botola for a 15 million dirham per year contract.
Throughout the week, every game played in the Botola is broadcast live by at least one TV channel.
BeIN Sports network also broadcasts a few matches every week.
The most popular Moroccan clubs are Wydad Casablanca, AS FAR, and Raja Casablanca. Other historically established sides include CODM Meknes, KAC Kenitra , Maghreb Fès, Fath Rabat, and Kawkab Marrakech.
|Stade Moulay Abdellah||Stade Mohamed V||Stade de Marrakech||Stade Adrar|
|Capacity: 53,000||Capacity: 67,000||Capacity: 45,000||Capacity: 45,000|
|Fez Stadium||Stade de Tanger||Honneur Stadium||Stade Cheikh Laaghdef|
|Capacity: 45,000||Capacity: 45,000||Capacity: 35,000||Capacity: 30,000|
|Stade d'Honneur||Stade Municipal de Kénitra||Stade Mimoun Al Arsi||Stade Saniat Rmel|
|Capacity: 20,000||Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 12,000||Capacity: 12,000|
|Stade El Massira||Stade El Abdi||Stade Municipal De Berkane||Complexe OCP|
|Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 10,000||Capacity: 10,000||Capacity: 10,000|
List of championsEdit
Performance by clubEdit
|Wydad Casablanca||1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1953–54, 1956–57, 1965–66, 1968–69, 1975–76, 1976–77, 1977–78, 1985–86, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2018–19|
|AS FAR||1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1963–64, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1983–84, 1986–87, 1988–89, 2004–05, 2007–08|
|Raja Casablanca||1987–88, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2003–04, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2012–13|
|Maghreb Fez||1964–65, 1978–79, 1982–83, 1984–85|
|KAC Kenitra||1959–60, 1972–73, 1980–81, 1981–82|
|Kawkab Marrakech||1957–58, 1991–92|
|Moghreb Tétouan||2011–12, 2013–14|
|Hassania Agadir||2001–02, 2002–03|
|Racing de Casablanca||1971–72|
|Renaissance de Settat||1970–71|
|Olympique de Casablanca||1993–94|
|CODM de Meknès||1994–95|
|Raja de Beni Mellal||1973–74|
|Étoile de Casablanca||1958–59|