South Africa’s Soccer Competitions

South Africa had racially divided soccer associations until 1991 when the South African Football Association (SAFA) was founded. South Africa holds several tournaments, as discussed below.

South African Premier Division

The Premier Division was formed in 1996 as a merger between the National Soccer League and the National Premier Soccer League (PSL). The Premier Soccer League is the current top tournament in South Africa, and the winner becomes the national champion. Sixteen professional teams compete in this league, and at the end of the season, one team is automatically relegated to the National First Division. The second last team is assigned through a play-off. Best teams from the National First Division replace the two relegated teams.

The National First Division

This is the second most prestigious league in South Africa, and it is made up of either professional or semi-professional teams. Sixteen teams compete in this league, and the winner is promoted to Premier Soccer League. A second team is also promoted to PSL through a play-off.

SAFA Second Division

SAFA directly controls SAFA Second Division, and it is played at the provincial level. The league consists of 144 teams, which are divided into nine leagues, each composed of 16 teams. Winners of the nine groups enter a series of play-offs, and the best two are promoted to the National First Division. The bottom two teams in the nine leagues are relegated to the SAB Regional League.

SAB Regional League

Regional League is made up of 832 teams, which are divided into 52 leagues. Winners of the Regional League enter a series of the play-off in the Vodacom League. The best two teams in each province are promoted to the SAFA Second Division.

There are other notable competitions in South Africa, which include the LFA Football Leagues, Youth Football Leagues, Tertiary Football, and Schools Football.

The South African Cup competitions include the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, MTN8 and Baymed Cup.