Premier Soccer League (PSL) South Africa: How does it work?

The South African Premier Soccer League table is decided over a 30-game season, with the 16 best football clubs in South Africa competing for places in the PSL standings.

Each season runs from August to May with all the teams playing each other home and away in a round-robin format.

Three points are awarded for each win, one point for each side in the event of a draw and no points awarded for a defeat.

The Premier Soccer League is one of Africa’s leading football competitions and was founded in 1996.

Fixtures are played mainly on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings in the PSL.

Games also regularly take place on Friday evenings, with Tuesday and Wednesday nights regularly reserved for midweek matches.

Mamelodi Sundowns are the most successful club at the top of the PSL standings, regularly winning the title under the ownership of Patrice Motsepe and coached by Pitso Mosimane.

Soweto Derby rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates also fight it out at the top of the table on a regular basis, with their clashes at the FNB Stadium and Orlando Stadium the most keenly supported fixtures in South African soccer.

SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits, the fallen Santos and defunct Manning Rangers are the other clubs to have tasted glory in the PSL standings.

Cape Town City FC are among the clubs seeking success for the first time at the sharp end.

Teams finishing at the top of the PSL log qualify for the CAF Champions League, going on to compete across the continent against the best of African club football.

Qualification for the CAF Confederation Cup is also on offer for sides finishing below the top two in the league.

The club finishing bottom of the PSL table is relegated to the National First Division each season.

A second-bottom finish means a relegation play-off for the side in question, with the teams finishing second and third in the second tier standings having a chance to join the PSL ranks for the following campaign.

Long-term sponsorship from banking giant Absa and live TV coverage from satellite broadcaster SuperSport has ensured the PSL’s standing as one of the most lucrative domestic competitions on the African continent.

The league is a proving ground for talented football players looking to make it at international level with Bafana Bafana, the South African national football side.

Opportunities also exist in domestic leagues overseas, particularly in Europe, for those that progress through the ranks of the PSL.

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