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Pakistan Premier League: The top division in Pakistan in a nutshell
In this article, Betimate takes a look at the highest football competition in Pakistan. Learn more about the Pakistan Premier League to understand its origin, format, and performance of team members in this prestigious league.
What is the Pakistan Premier League?
The Pakistan Premier League (abbreviated as PPL) is a top division in the Pakistan football league system, like in other countries that held the Premier League. It was officially introduced on 28 May 1948 but ran under the current format since 2004. A season of the Pakistan Premier League usually takes place from September to January.
In the first stage of the competition’s history, it was referred to as the National Football Championship that played under the knockout format. In 2004, the tournament was restructured by the Pakistan Football Federation. It was then divided into the National League Division A Football League with 12 clubs participating and the National League Division B Football League involving five clubs.
Two years later, the higher division (Division A) was renamed to the Pakistan Premier League while Division B was called the PFF League- the second tier now, with the change in the format too.
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How does the Pakistan Premier League work?
The number of participants in the Pakistan Premier League varied in seasons. For example, the first season when it was renamed to the Premier League consisted of 14 teams, but it was 16 in the 2010-11 and 2018-19 seasons.
The format of this competition was changed from a knockout to a round-robin structure. Accordingly, each team will play with every other team twice, once home and once away. Most games are played in the weekends’ afternoons, but some can occur during weekday evenings.
By the end of each season, the two bottom teams that finish with the lowest points will be relegated to the second division, the PFF League. These slots are replaced by the top two teams from this league.
Titles by clubs
Khan Research Laboratories is currently considered the most successful club in the Pakistan Premier League with five times winning the titles. They became the runner-up in the 2010-11 season of the Premier League.
Besides the Premier League, Khan Research Laboratories also won six National Football Challenge Cup titles. Not only successful in the Premier League, this club is the most famous and professional football club in the country. They are also the only team in Pakistan that reached the continental competition final. In the 2013 AFC President’s Cup final, KRL Football Club lost 1-0 to Balkan FK.
Khan Research Laboratories
Top goalscorers by seasons (from 2004-05)
Kaleemullah Khan from the most successful club of the Pakistan Premier League Khan Research Laboratories is the top scorer who has scored the most goals in a single season of the competition. In the 2012-13 edition, he netted 35 goals. The second position belongs to Muhammad from Karachi Port Trust with 27 goals.