African Leagues

  • david 

Football is equally popular in Africa, with almost all 54 nations on the continent having domestic leagues. The continent is also another fertile talent fishing ground for European teams, particularly French teams which have a close connection with West African countries.

National Leagues

Most African countries have domestic leagues divided into several tiers operating on a promotion and relegation basis. The leagues are run by the specific football associations in conjunction with league management companies.

Popular national leagues in Africa include the Kenyan Premier League, South African (ABSA) Premier League, Zambian Premier League, Ghanian League, Senegalese League, Libyan League, Tunisian League, Egyptian League, and the Nigerian Premier League.

Major clubs in these competitions include Orlando Pirates, Al Ahly, Zamaleka, Asante Kotoko, Gor Mahia, YANGA, and Mamelodi Sundowns.


African Club competitions have for a long time suffered instability due to a fragile relationship between football authorities and corporates. Major clubs with sponsorship from huge companies like Absa, Supersport and MTN were always bound to go the distance as they are able to maintain talent.

The entrance of betting companies in the African football scene has been a huge boost. In Kenya and Tanzania, for example, betting firm SportPesa sponsors several clubs. They enable these clubs to compete favourably and also expose them to the world with initiatives like the Sportpesa cup whose winner earns a trip to Europe to play premier league side, Everton.

Season realignment

With its flourishing player business with Europe, Africa has resolved to change its football calendar to mirror that of Europe. The season formerly ran from February to December but, starting 2019, it will begin in August and end in May.

African nations have produced players like Didier Drogba, Victor Wanyama, Nwankwo Kanu, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah among others.