The Palestine League, also known as The Eretz Israel League, was an association football league during the British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel), which was contested from 1928 to 1948. It was organised by the Eretz Israel Football Association, and is therefore regarded as the original incarnation of the modern Israeli top flight league, which has existed since 1948.

Palestine League
Folded1948 (replaced by Liga Alef)
RegionMandatory Palestine
Level on pyramid1
Domestic cup(s)People's Cup
Last championsMaccabi Tel Aviv (4 titles)
Most championshipsHapoel Tel Aviv (5 titles)

Organisation and history edit

Organised by the Eretz Israel Football Association, later to become the Israel Football Association, it is regarded as a predecessor of the modern Israeli Premier League, as well as a former part of the Israeli football league system. Because of violent conflicts involving the Yishuv, its scheduling was inconsistent and in some seasons no national championship was held.[1] The league was suspended for two seasons after 1947 amidst the termination of the British Mandate over the country in May 1948, the independence of the State of Israel at the same time, and the subsequent war between Israel and several surrounding countries. The Palestine League was formally superseded in 1949 by the new Israeli League, Liga Alef.[2][3]

The Palestine League was first won by a team representing the British Police force, who finished the season unbeaten. They also won the People's Cup that season, in doing so winning the double.[4] Except for Jerusalem-based British Police's initial victory, only clubs from Tel Aviv won the title during the Mandate period; Hapoel and Maccabi Tel Aviv won five and four championships respectively.[2][nb 1]

Seasons edit

Champions also won the People's Cup during the same season
(number of titles) A running tally of the total number of championships won by each club is kept in brackets.
Full league standings and top scorer details not known at this time.
Season Winner (number of titles) Notes
1928 Maccabi Hasmonean Jerusalem (1) [5]
1931–32 British Police (1)
1932–33 Not held
1933–34 Hapoel Tel Aviv (1)
1934–35 Hapoel Tel Aviv (2) [nb 1]
1935–36 Maccabi Tel Aviv (1)
1936–37 Maccabi Tel Aviv (2)
1937–38 Hapoel Tel Aviv (3) [nb 1]
1938–39 No national championship [nb 2]
1939–40 Hapoel Tel Aviv (4)
1940–41 Not held
1941–42 Maccabi Tel Aviv (3)
1942–43 Not finished [nb 3]
1943–44 Hapoel Tel Aviv (5)
1944–45 No national championship [nb 4]
1945–46 Not held
1946–47 Maccabi Tel Aviv (4)
1947–48 Not finished[12]
1948–49 Not held
Winner Titles Years won
Hapoel Tel Aviv 5 1934, 1935, 1938, 1940, 1944
Maccabi Tel Aviv 4 1936, 1937, 1942, 1947
Maccabi Hasmonean Jerusalem 1 1928
British Police 1 1931
Nordia(Beitar) Tel Aviv 1 1948

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ a b c Because of the inconsistent league programme during the 1930s and 1940s, controversy remains concerning the number of titles won by Hapoel Tel Aviv during that period. The 1934–35 championship was abandoned with Hapoel Tel Aviv leading the standings; at the time it went unawarded but the Israel Football Association today recognises the title.[1][6] The 1937–38 league season was also abandoned long before its end because of the Arab revolt in Palestine, once more with Hapoel Tel Aviv top of the table. As with the unfinished 1934–35 title, the Israel Football Association today lists the club as having won the 1937–38 crown. Counting both of these titles, Hapoel have five Palestine League championships and 13 in total,[6] but FIFA and UEFA only credit the club with four pre-1948 titles, giving an overall total of 12.[7][8] The club itself claims to have won 13 titles, five before independence and eight afterwards.[9] This figure is corroborated by the Israel Football Association and Ynet.[6][10]
  2. ^ No national championship was held; instead regional leagues took place in each district. Maccabi Tel Aviv won the Tel Aviv district league and British Police won in Jerusalem, but the champions of Haifa are not known.[2]
  3. ^ During 1942–43, three regional leagues were held in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa; the regional champions were supposed to enter a three-way mini-league for the national title, but when the Haifa league was abandoned the national championship was reduced to a single match between the champions of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The champions of Jerusalem, Homenetmen, refused to play against Maccabi Tel Aviv, leading Maccabi to be declared national champions by default. Today the title is neither claimed by Maccabi Tel Aviv nor recognised by the Israel Football Association.[2][6][11]
  4. ^ Two regional leagues were held instead of a national championship. Beitar Tel Aviv finished top of the Southern District league while Hapoel Tel Aviv won in the Northern District.[2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Goldberg, Asher (2010-07-29). "The Tel Aviv Derbies in December 1935 and '36" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Archived from the original on 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e Bleicher, Yaniv (2011-05-19). "Israel – List of Champions". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  3. ^ Bleicher, Yaniv (2008-07-03). "Israel – List of Final Tables". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  4. ^ Goldberg, Asher (2011-04-28). "Meet the first champions – the British Police of Jerusalem" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  5. ^ The Israeli Football Association
  6. ^ a b c d "List of Champions" (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-08-05.
  7. ^ "Tamuz: Israeli heart, Nigerian blood". FIFA. 2011-04-21. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  8. ^ "Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C." UEFA. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  9. ^ "Honours and trophies" (in Hebrew). Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  10. ^ ול. בוץ, א עין דור (2010-05-15). "Hapoel Tel Aviv win the championship". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  11. ^ "Titles" (in Hebrew). Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2011-08-06.
  12. ^ A Break in League Play Aspaklaria Shel HaSport (The Sport Mirror), 11 January 1948, p. 1, col. 6 (in Hebrew)