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Singapore Premier League

  (Redirected from S.League)

The Singapore Premier League (SPL) is the Singaporean professional league for men's association football clubs. It was previously known as the S.League. At the highest level of domestic football competition in Singapore, it is the country's primary football competition. Contested by nine clubs, it consists of three rounds in which each team plays every other team once. Clubs from Brunei, China, France, Japan and Korea have been invited to take part in the league to raise its level of competitiveness and profile.[1]

Singapore Premier League
Founded1996; 23 years ago (1996)
2018; 1 year ago (2018) (as SPL)
CountrySingapore
Other club(s) fromJapan
Brunei
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Number of teams9
Level on pyramid1
Domestic cup(s)Singapore Cup
Community Shield
International cup(s)AFC Champions League
AFC Cup
Current championsAlbirex Niigata Singapore FC
(3rd title) (2018)
Most championshipsWarriors FC (9 titles)
TV partnersMycujoo (Live Streaming)
Websitespl.sg
2019 Singapore Premier League

The Singapore Premier League is run by the Football Association of Singapore. Seasons run from late March to October, with teams playing 24 matches each, totalling 108 matches in the season. It is currently sponsored by AIA Group, and thus officially known as the AIA Singapore Premier League for sponsorship reasons.

Since the inception of the league in 1996, 7 clubs have been crowned champions. Warriors FC have been the most successful club with 9 titles, followed by Tampines Rovers (5), Albirex Niigata Singapore FC (3), Geylang International (2), Home United (2), DPMM FC and Étoile FC (1).

Contents

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

Singapore had been represented in the Malaysia Cup through the Singapore Lions since 1921. The Lions were one of the most successful teams in the competition, having won it 24 times from 1921 to 1994. Following a dispute over gate receipts between the FAS and FAM[2] after winning the league and cup double in 1994, the Lions withdrew from the Malaysian competitions.

Subsequently, the Football Association of Singapore decided to build a professional league system. However, as it was estimated to take about a year to put in place the structure of a professional league, the Singapore Lions were given match practice in what was then the top level of domestic football, the semi-professional FAS Premier League. This team won the last FAS Premier League title, finishing the season unbeaten.

Inaugural seasonEdit

The S.League was founded in 1996. The FAS invited applications for clubs to compete in the newly formed league. Eight successful applications were made. Two clubs from the Premier League – powerhouse Geylang International (renamed Geylang United; 6 consecutive Premier League titles) and Balestier United (renamed Balestier Central – joined six from the amateur National Football League – Police, Singapore Armed Forces, Tampines Rovers, Tiong Bahru United, Wellington (renamed Woodlands Wellington) and Sembawang Rangers (merger of Gibraltar Crescent and Sembawang SC) – for the inaugural edition of the S.League. The season was split into the two series. Tiger Beer Series winners Geylang United defeated Pioneer Series winners Singapore Armed Forces 2–1 in the end of season Championship Playoff to be crowned the 1st S.League champions.[3] The 30,000 crowd at the playoff remains the record attendance in the S.League.

Expansion of the LeagueEdit

Police FC renamed themselves as Home United for the 1997 season to reflect their representation of not only the Singapore Police Force, but also other HomeTeam Departments of the Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs such as the SCDF and the ICA. NFL side Jurong Town FC, who renamed themselves Jurong FC, joined the competition taking the number of participating clubs to 9. The league switched from its previous format to a round-robin competition. Singapore Armed Forces won their first title.

Gombak United and Marine Castle United joined the S.League in 1998, further taking the number of clubs to 11. Tiong Bahru United renamed themselves to Tanjong Pagar United at the start of the season. Singapore Armed Forces won their second consecutive title.

Clementi Khalsa joined the S.League in 1999 as a representative of the Sikh community in Singapore. The league took on 12 teams for the next five years. Home United won their first title.

Foreign ClubsEdit

The FAS decided to invite foreign clubs to the league to improve diminishing interest. Sinchi FC, a side composed of Chinese players became the first foreign club to participate in 2003. Shi Jiayi and Qiu Li went on to become naturalised Singapore players.

J.League club Albirex Niigata entered their feeder club in the 2004 S.League. The club proved to be one of the most successful foreign sides in the S.League, drawing on the support of Japanese expats. They still play in the S.League as of 2016.

Sporting Afrique, a club made up of African players, and Super Reds, a side comprising South Korean players, became the third and fourth foreign clubs to join the competition in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Sporting Afrique were refused entry into the 2007 S.League due to off-field controversies and poor performance. In 2010, Super Reds were denied a place after three seasons following attempts to convert into a team of local players.

Chinese Super League clubs Liaoning FC (2007), Dalian Shide FC (2008) and Beijing Guoan FC (2010) entered their feeder clubs in the S.League. All three clubs each lasted one season before being pulled out of the league due to poor performances and disciplinary issues.

Bruneian club DPMM FC joined the S.League in 2009 before being pulled from the league as a result of a FIFA ban. They re-entered the league from 2012. They were the first club to base themselves outside of Singapore.

In 2010, French club Étoile FC became the first foreign side to win the S.League. Etoile pulled out of the S.League prior to the 2012 season to focus on grassroots football and youth development.

Malaysia national youth sides Harimau Muda A and Harimau Muda B were the most recent sides to join the S.League following an agreement between the Football Association of Singapore and Football Association of Malaysia to send their representative sides into their respective domestic competitions. Singapore side LionsXII returned to the Malaysian competitions in 2012.

20th seasonEdit

The league took on a number of changes for the 2015 season to increase its competitiveness.[4][5] The number of clubs was reduced from 12 to 10, with the withdrawal of Tanjong Pagar United due to financial problems, and the merger of Woodlands Wellington and Hougang United.[4][6] The league returned to a three-round format used from 2001 to 2011.[4] The foreign player quota remained at five per club, but incentives were given to those who signed an under-21 player.[6] The passing time for the mandatory 2.4 km fitness test was lowered from 10 mins to 9 mins 45 s.[4] A new rule on age restrictions – a maximum of five players aged 30 and above and a minimum of three under-25 players for clubs with a 22-man squad, a maximum of four players aged 30 and above and a minimum of two under-25 players for clubs with a 20-man squad – was later reversed.[6][7]

RebrandingEdit

The league was rebranded as Singapore Premier League on 21 March 2018. A major revamp is being made to see a greater emphasis on local youth players in a bid to strengthen the national side; this, in effect, has resulted in a number of senior and foreign stars being released or transferred overseas.[8]

Competition FormatEdit

StructureEdit

Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. The champions are crowned at the end of the season. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, goals scored, and then number of wins. If still equal, the same tiebreakers are used on head-to-head records between the teams, followed by better fair play record. There is no relegation or promotion system in the league. Clubs enter the Singapore Premier League by invitation of the Football Association of Singapore.

Seasons No. of
Clubs
Matches
per Club
Notes
1996 8 14 × 2 series One title playoff match between series winners at the end of the season.
1997 9 16
1998 11 20
1999, 2000 12 22
2001, 2002, 2003 12 33 In 2003, matches proceeded to a penalty shootout in the event of a draw. Shootout winners were awarded an extra point on top of the draw.
2004, 2005 10 27
2006 11 30
2007, 2008, 2009
2010, 2011
12 33 DPMM's results were expunged towards the end of 2009 following a FIFA ban, officially leaving 11 teams playing 30 matches each.
2012 13 24
2013, 2014 12 27 The league was split into two-halves after matchday 22. Teams in each half play every other team from their half once, for an additional five matches. Results in the 2nd phase were added to that in the 1st phase for overall standings.
2015 10 27 The league returned to a three-round format.
2016, 2017 9 24
2018, 2019 9 24 S.League renamed to Singapore Premier League.

Qualification for Asian competitionsEdit

The league's winners qualify for the AFC Champions League playoff spot and Singapore Cup winners qualify for the AFC Cup playoff spot. In the event of the same club winning both the S.League and Singapore Cup, the runners-up of the league takes up the AFC Cup qualification spot. Foreign clubs are ineligible to represent the Football Association of Singapore in AFC continental competitions. The qualification spot is given to the next best-placed club in the league if a foreign club wins any of the two competitions.

ClubsEdit

A total of 25 clubs have played in the league from its inception in 1996 up to and including the 2014 season. The following 9 clubs are competing in the league during the 2019 season.

Team Founded Based Stadium Capacity Former Name
Albirex Niigata Singapore FC (Japan) 2004 Jurong East Jurong East Stadium 2,700
Balestier Khalsa FC 1898 Bishan Bishan Stadium 3,500 formed from merger of Balestier Central and Clementi Khalsa in 2002.
DPMM FC (Brunei) 2000 Bandar Seri Begawan Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium 28,000
Geylang International FC 1973 Tampines Our Tampines Hub 5,000 known as Geylang United from 1996 to 2012.
Home United FC Mid-1940s Bishan Bishan Stadium 3,500 known as Police FC in debut season.
Hougang United FC 1981 Kallang Jalan Besar Stadium 6,000 known as Marine Castle United (1998–2001), Sengkang Marine (2002–2003), Sengkang Punggol (2006–2010; merger with Paya Lebar Punggol).
Tampines Rovers FC 1945 Tampines Our Tampines Hub 5,000
Warriors FC 1975 Jurong East Jurong East Stadium 2,700 known as Singapore Armed Forces from 1996 to 2012.
Young Lions FC (youth national team) 2002 Kallang Jalan Besar Stadium 6,000

Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Home United, Tampines Rovers, and Warriors have played in all 24 seasons of the Singapore Premier League as of 2019.

Former clubsEdit

Years in brackets indicates seasons active in the league.

Past championsEdit

The league has seen five clubs win the title since its inception. Warriors FC (formerly SAF FC) hold the most titles at nine. In 2010, Étoile FC became the first foreign side to win the competition.[9]

Season Winners Runners-up
1996* Geylang United Singapore Armed Forces
1997 Singapore Armed Forces Tiong Bahru United
1998 Singapore Armed Forces Tanjong Pagar United
1999 Home United Singapore Armed Forces
2000 Singapore Armed Forces Tanjong Pagar United
2001 Geylang United Singapore Armed Forces
2002 Singapore Armed Forces Home United
2003 Home United Geylang United
2004 Tampines Rovers Home United
2005 Tampines Rovers Singapore Armed Forces
2006 Singapore Armed Forces Tampines Rovers
2007 Singapore Armed Forces Home United
2008 Singapore Armed Forces Super Reds (South Korea)
2009 Singapore Armed Forces Tampines Rovers
2010 Étoile FC (France) Tampines Rovers
2011 Tampines Rovers Home United
2012 Tampines Rovers DPMM FC (Brunei)
2013 Tampines Rovers Home United
2014 Warriors FC DPMM FC (Brunei)
2015 DPMM FC (Brunei) Tampines Rovers
2016 Albirex Niigata (S) (Japan) Tampines Rovers
2017 Albirex Niigata (S) (Japan) Tampines Rovers
2018 Albirex Niigata (S) (Japan)[10] Home United
2019 DPMM FC (Brunei)

* The inaugural season of the S.League was split into two series. The winners of each series completed in a Championship play-off in which Geylang United defeated Singapore Armed Forces to claim the first S.League title.

Performance by ClubsEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Winning years
Warriors FC
9
4
1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014
Tampines Rovers
5
6
2004, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013
Albirex Niigata (S) (Japan)
3
0
2016, 2017, 2018
Home United
2
5
1999, 2003
Geylang International
2
1
1996, 2001
DPMM FC (Brunei)
2
2
2015, 2019
Étoile FC (France)
1
0
2010
Tanjong Pagar United
0
3
Super Reds (South Korea)
0
1

AwardsEdit

Note nationality of players at presentation of award. A number of foreign players were naturalised to play for Singapore later in their career.

Top scorersEdit

Season Name Club Goals
1996   Jure Ereš Singapore Armed Forces 28
1997   Goran Paulić Balestier Central 21[11]
1998   Stuart Young Home United 22[11]
1999   Mirko Grabovac Singapore Armed Forces 23
2000   Mirko Grabovac Singapore Armed Forces 19
2001   Mirko Grabovac Singapore Armed Forces 39
2002   Mirko Grabovac Singapore Armed Forces 34
2003   Peres de Oliveira Home United 31
2004   Egmar Goncalves Home United 30
2005   Mirko Grabovac Tampines Rovers 26
2006   Laakkad Abdelhadi Woodlands Wellington 23
2007   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces 37
2008   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces 28
2009   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces 28
2010   Frédéric Mendy   Etoile FC 21
2011   Mislav Karoglan Singapore Armed Forces 33
2012   Frédéric Mendy Home United 20
2013   Aleksandar Đurić
  Moon Soon-Ho
Tampines Rovers
Woodlands Wellington
15
2014
  Rodrigo Tosi[12]   DPMM FC
24
2015   Rafael Ramazotti   DPMM FC 21
2016   Rafael Ramazotti   DPMM FC 20
2017   Tsubasa Sano   Albirex Niigata (S) 26
2018   Shuhei Hoshino   Albirex Niigata (S) 19

* Mirko Grabovac was a naturalised Singapore player from 2002 until he renounced his Singapore citizenship in 2008.

Source:"S.League leading scorers". S.League.

Player of the Year AwardEdit

Season Name Club
1996   Ivica Raguž Singapore Armed Forces
1997   Nazri Nasir Balestier Central
1998   S. Subramani Tanjong Pagar United
1999   Zsolt Bücs Home United
2000   Mirko Grabovac Singapore Armed Forces
2001   Daniel Bennett Tanjong Pagar United
2002   Therdsak Chaiman Singapore Armed Forces
2003   Peres de Oliveira Home United
2004   Surachai Jaturapattarapong Home United
2005   Noh Alam Shah Tampines Rovers
2006   Laakkad Abdelhadi Woodlands Wellington
2007   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces
2008   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces
2009   Valery Hiek Home United
2010   Shahril Ishak Home United
2011   Mislav Karoglan Singapore Armed Forces
2012   Aleksandar Đurić Tampines Rovers
2013   Lee Kwan-Woo Home United
2014   Hassan Sunny[12] Warriors FC
2015   Fumiya Kogure[13] Albirex Niigata (S)
2016   Atsushi Kawata Albirex Niigata (S)
2017   Kento Nagasaki Albirex Niigata (S)
2018   Wataru Murofushi Albirex Niigata (S)

Young Player of the YearEdit

Season Name Club
1996   Robin Chitrakar Geylang United
1997   Ahmad Latiff Khamaruddin Geylang United
1998   Lim Soon Seng Tanjong Pagar United
1999   Yazid Yasin Home United
2000   Indra Sahdan Daud Geylang United
2001   Indra Sahdan Daud Home United
2002   Noh Alam Shah Sembawang Rangers
2003   Baihakki Khaizan Geylang United
2004   Fahrudin Mustafić Tampines Rovers
2005   Issey Nakajima-Farran Albirex Niigata (S)
2006   Kengne Ludovick Balestier Khalsa
2007   Shariff Abdul Samat Tampines Rovers
2008   Khairul Amri Tampines Rovers
2009   Gabriel Obatola Gombak United
2010   Hariss Harun Young Lions
2011   Tatsuro Inui Albirex Niigata (S)
2012   Wan Zack Haikal Harimau Muda A
2013   Sirina Camara Home United
2014   Nicolás Vélez[12] Warriors FC
2015   Azwan Ali DPMM FC
2016   M Anumanthan Hougang United
2017   Hazzuwan Halim Balestier Khalsa
2018   Adam Swandi Albirex Niigata (S)

* Fahrudin Mustafić held Serbian citizenship before being naturalised to play for Singapore in 2007.

Coach of the YearEdit

Season Name Club
1996   Vincent Subramaniam Singapore Armed Forces
1997   Vincent Subramaniam Singapore Armed Forces
1998   Jita Singh Sembawang Rangers
1999   Robert Alberts Home United
2000   Fandi Ahmad Singapore Armed Forces
2001   Jang Jung Geylang United
2002   M. Karathu Woodlands Wellington
2003   Scott O'Donell Geylang United
2004   Vorawan Chitavanich Tampines Rovers
2005   Vorawan Chitavanich Tampines Rovers
2006   Richard Bok Singapore Armed Forces
2007   Richard Bok Singapore Armed Forces
2008   Hiroaki Hiraoka Albirex Niigata (S)
2009   Richard Bok Singapore Armed Forces
2010   Vorawan Chitavanich Tampines Rovers
2011   Koichi Sugiyama Albirex Niigata (S)
2012   Vjeran Simunić DPMM FC
2013   Lee Lim-Saeng Home United
2014   Marko Kraljević[12] Balestier Khalsa
2015   Steve Kean DPMM FC
2016   Naoki Naruo Albirex Niigata (S)
2017   Kazuaki Yoshinaga Albirex Niigata (S)
2018   Kazuaki Yoshinaga Albirex Niigata (S)

People's Choice AwardEdit

Season Name Club
2002   Sead Muratović Tampines Rovers
2003   Indra Sahdan Daud Home United
2004   Agu Casmir Young Lions
2005   Zulkarnaen Zainal Tampines Rovers
2006   Khairul Amri Young Lions
2007   Aleksandar Đurić Singapore Armed Forces
2008   Kengne Ludovick Home United
2009   Gabriel Obatola Gombak United
2010   Shahril Jantan Singapore Armed Forces
2011   Safuwan Baharudin Young Lions
2012   Wan Zack Haikal Harimau Muda A
2013   Mamadou M. Diallo Hougang United

Fair Play AwardEdit

Season Club
1996 Singapore Armed Forces
1997 Singapore Armed Forces
1998 Singapore Armed Forces
1999 Geylang United
2000 Sembawang Rangers
2001 Singapore Armed Forces
2002 Singapore Armed Forces
2003 Young Lions
2004 Albirex Niigata (S)
2005 Young Lions
2006 Young Lions
2007 Albirex Niigata (S)
2008 Super Reds
2009 Home United
2010 Tampines Rovers
2011 Albirex Niigata (S)
2012 Albirex Niigata (S)
2013 Albirex Niigata (S)
2014 Geylang International[12]
2015 Geylang International
2016 Albirex Niigata (S)
2017 Albirex Niigata (S)
2018 Albirex Niigata (S)

Special awardsEdit

All-time league tableEdit

[citation needed]

The all-time Singapore Premier League table is a cumulative record of all match results, points and goals of every team that has played in the league since its inception in 1996. The table that follows is accurate as of the end of the 2014 season. Teams in bold are part of the 2018 season.

Pos
Club
No. of
Seasons
Pld
W (PK)[16] D
L
F
A
GD
Pts
Pts PG
1 Warriors FC a 19 531 331 (2) 91 107 1223 648 +575 1088 2.05
2 Home United 19 531 301 (2) 95 133 1081 669 +412 1002 1.90
3 Tampines Rovers 19 531 282 (3) 104 142 1040 680 +360 956 1.80
4 Geylang International a 19 531 219 (3) 114 195 821 740 +81 777 1.48
5 Woodlands Wellington c 19 531 167 (4) 120 240 743 930 −187 623 1.19
6 Balestier Khalsa 19 531 150 (2) 118 261 692 963 −271 532 1.06
7 Albirex Niigata (S) (Japan) 11 324 133 83 108 514 440 +74 522 1.47
8 Tanjong Pagar United 13 345 125 (2) 70 148 508 581 −73 449 1.32
9 Gombak United 12 346 114 88 144 462 528 −66 432 1.25
10 Young Lions (youth national team)f 12 357 110 (1) 79 167 479 599 −120 406 1.15
11 Hougang United f 15 433 101 (8) 81 243 493 845 −352 395 0.87
12 Jurong FC 7 179 70 (7) 29 73 261 274 −13 253 1.41
13 Sembawang Rangers 8 207 53 (5) 47 102 256 409 −149 216 1.04
14 Super Reds (South Korea) 3 96 41 20 35 144 146 −2 143 1.49
15 DPMM FC (Brunei)d 3 78 39 16 23 153 103 +50 133 1.63
16 Étoile FC (France)e 2 66 42 11 13 119 59 +60 132 2.00
17 Clementi Khalsa 4 110 22 29 59 150 261 −111 95 0.86
18 Sinchi FC (China)b 3 87 22 (6) 13 46 109 167 −58 88 1.01
19 Harimau Muda B (Malaysia) 2 54 14 8 32 61 110 −49 50 1.11
20 Harimau Muda A (Malaysia) 1 24 13 3 8 37 23 +14 42 1.75
21 Beijing Guoan Talent (China)e 1 33 10 6 17 30 49 −19 31 0.94
22 Liaoning Guangyuan (China) 1 33 8 5 20 33 63 −30 29 0.88
23 Sporting Afrique (Africa) 1 30 5 9 26 36 59 −23 24 0.80
24 Dalian Shide Siwu (China) 1 33 5 7 21 26 75 −55 22 0.67
25 Paya Lebar Punggol 1 27 1 1 25 23 78 −55 4 0.15

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Singapore League (S. League)". National Library Board. 14 June 2014.
  2. ^ Joe Dorai (17 January 1995). "Malaysian states want 15 per cent levy to play at Kallang". The Straits Times. p. 31.
  3. ^ "Geylang wins S-League's Championship match". The Straits Times. 10 November 1996.
  4. ^ a b c d Osman, Shamir (4 November 2014). "Only 10 teams in S.League next year". The New Paper. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  5. ^ Low, Lin Fhoong (6 November 2014). "Changes will make S-League 'stronger, more competitive'". Today. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Low, Lin Fhoong (5 November 2014). "Uncertainty over S-League's changes for 2015". Today. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
  7. ^ Phua, Emmanuel (24 November 2014). "Players ambivalent about S-League U-turn". Today. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  8. ^ Football: Goodbye S-League, welcome Singapore Premier League The Straits Times, 21 March 2018
  9. ^ "S.League overview". S.League. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
  10. ^ https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/albirex-win-singapore-premier-league-title-three-months-to-go-10552962
  11. ^ a b Eric Ding (29 August 2005). "Golden Boot". Today. p. 38.
  12. ^ a b c d e f "Awards night signals end of 2014 S.League season". S.League. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  13. ^ "S.League Awards Night 2015". 30 November 2015. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  14. ^ "S.League.com – Amri Takes on Big Brother Role at Young Lions". sleague.com. Retrieved 19 August 2017. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |website= (help)
  15. ^ "100 Goals Award: Mohd Noor Ali – The ever smiling joker of the pack". dreamteamsteam.blogspot.sg. Retrieved 19 August 2017.
  16. ^ The 2003 edition of the S.League saw the introduction of penalty shootouts if a match ended a draw. Shootout winners were awarded an extra point on top of the draw.

External linksEdit