Ethiopian Premier League

The Ethiopian Premier League is the highest tier of the Ethiopian football league system. The system operates on a system of promotion and relegation. In essence, this means the top-performing teams from various leagues in the system are promoted to the next (higher) tier while the lowest-performing teams are relegated to the lower tier. As the Ethiopian Premier League is the highest tier of the system, the top-performing team is not promoted to any other tier but rather, its crowned the league champion and receives the rights to represent the league in the continental tournament, the CAF Champions League.

Ethiopian Premier League Predictions

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History of the Ethiopian Premier League

The roots of the Ethiopian football league system can be traced back to 1944. In 1944, five teams from various communities in Addis Ababa including the British Military Mission in Ethiopia (BMME) agreed to form a league. BMME won the first league title. The following year, the same teams agreed to form and participate in the Ethiopian Cup, a tournament that’s still running to this day.

From 1944 onwards, various teams including those from outside Addis Ababa joined the football system and started to compete in the Ethiopian league. In 1997, the Ethiopian Football Federation was established and it was tasked with creating a stable and internationally recognised football league system in the country. It’s at this juncture that the Ethiopian Premier League era started.

A year after the top division was formed, the Ethiopian Football Federation increased the number of league teams to 10. This move was widely welcomed by many actors in the football industry as it was heralded for ushering in more competition. By the 2002/03 season, the competition in the league had intensified such that a team outside Addis Ababa for the very first time made a title push which came down to the last day of the season. The following season, Hawassa City S.C. made history as it became the first team outside of Addis Ababa to win the premier league title. More history was created several seasons later as premier league debutantes Jimma Aba Jifar F.C. managed to lift the premier league title in the 2017/18 season at the first time of asking.

From the turn of the millennium, more teams have managed to join the Ethiopian Premier League. At the present moment, 16 teams compete in the league.

Competition Format

The Ethiopian Premier League uses a double round-robin system. This means each team in the league plays twice against each opponent. One match takes place at a team’s home ground while the other match takes place at the opponent’s home ground. All 16 teams in the league thus play a total of 30 games each season.

Three outcomes occur in every match. A team may win, lose or draw. When a team wins, it receives three points. When it draws, it receives one point. However, when it loses, it receives zero points. On the log table, teams are ranked according to the number of points they accumulate over the season. There are various differentiating parameters used for teams that are tied on points. The first parameter is the goal difference. If teams do have the same goal difference, then the number of goals scored come into effect.

At the end of the season, the top-ranked team wins the premier league trophy and receives the rights to represent Ethiopia in the prestigious continental football tournament, the CAF Champions League. The three lowest-ranked teams are relegated to the Ethiopian Higher League which is the second tier of Ethiopian football. Three of the top-ranked teams from the Ethiopian Higher League are promoted to the Premier League.

Top Teams

The top teams in the Ethiopian Premier League are as follows:

  1. Saint George – has won 29 first division titles
  2. Mekelakeya – has won 11 first division titles
  3. Ethiopian Coffee – has won two first division titles
  4. Hawassa City – has won two first division titles
  5. Fasil Kenema – has one league title
  6. Jimma Aba Jifar – has one league title

Top Players

Some of the most talented players to play in the Ethiopian Premier League include:

  • Abubeker Nassir
  • Getaneh Kebede
  • Yordanos Abay
  • Okiki Afolabi
  • Adane Girma
  • Samuel Sanumi
  • Saladin Said
  • Medhane Tadesse
  • Amanuel Gebremichael
  • Mujib Kassim

Commercial Rights

For sponsorship reasons, the Ethiopian Premier League is known as the BetKing Ethiopian Premier League.