The South African PSL (Premier Soccer League), founded in 1996, is the
trading name of South Africa's National Soccer League (NSL). The top league is
the ABSA Premier League, sponsored by one of the country’s leading banks.
Sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Professional Soccer League, this
premier soccer organisation has been sponsored to a major extent by big business
in South Africa, including major national banks and South African Breweries.
There have been criticisms of the PSL and of soccer in general in South
Africa but nothing detracts from the fierce enthusiasm generated by groupies and
players for the beautiful game in what in the bad old days was primarily a
The PSL has a chequered history, including a match fixing scandal to rival
the Hansie Cronjie cricket match fixing scandal, and the 2001 football tragedy
when 43 people were killed in a stampede at an overcrowded local stadium. Both
events had repercussions. In the first instance, enough arrests were made to
temporarily subdue the sport’s ebullient fans ; in the second instance, the
teams were reduced from 18 to 16 to 'redue congestion'.
How does the PSL work? There are sixteen teams or clubs in the PSL. In a
season each PSL club member plays each of the others twice and is allocated
points, e.g., 3 for a win, 1 for a draw. The teams are:
Ajax Cape Town - aka Urban Warriors, AmaZulu - aka Usuthu, BidVest Wits - aka
The Clever Boys, Black Leopards - aka Sibasa Black Leopards, Bloemfontein Celtic
- aka Phunya Sele Sele, Free State Stars - aka Ea Lla Koto, Jomos Cosmos - aka Ezenkosi, Golden Arrows
- aka Abafana Bes'thende, Kaizer Chiefs - aka Amakhosi,
Moroka Swallows - aka The Beautiful Birds, Orlando Pirates - aka The Buccaneers,
Platinum Stars - aka The Lions of the North, Santos -aka The People's Team, Sundowns
- aka The Brazilians (notable, incidentally, for player Daniel Mudau
scoring a record of 173 goals in his career. He also holds the record for the
most appearances.) Supersport United - aka Matsatsantsa Thanda, Royal Zulu -aka Amabhubesi
Some interesting statistics:
- Top scorer across the PSL is James Chamanga of Moroka Swallows, with 14
individual goals to his credit.
- Mamelodi Sundowns was the 2006-2007 AND the 2005 - 2006 PSL winner. The
team proudly claims the most PSL titles to its credit (5). The team features
repeatedly as a cup winner in local and international games.
- Most goals achieved in a season was by the Kaiser Chiefs - a staggering
- Over a 10-year period, the teams to watch have been: Kaizer Chiefs,
Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Supersport United and Moroka Swallows.
Kaizer Chiefs top the list with 163 wins in this period.
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