|Iraqi Premier League|
|Founded||18 August 1974|
|Number of teams||20 (from 2014–15)|
|Relegation to||Iraq Division One|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)|| Iraq FA Cup|
|AFC (Asia) cup(s)|| AFC Champions League|
|Current champions||Al-Zawraa (14th title) (2017–18)|
Seasons run from September to May with the 20 teams playing 38 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 380 matches in the season. It is currently sponsored by Fuchs and thus officially known as the Fuchs Premier League. The league was formed in 1974 when the Iraq Football Association (IFA) replaced the League of the Institutes (a league for institutes teams) with the Iraqi Premier League (the first nationwide league of clubs in Iraq).
Of the 73 teams to have competed since the inception of the league in 1974, 11 have won the title: Al-Zawraa (13), Al-Shorta (5), Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya (5), Al-Talaba (5), Erbil (4), Al-Rasheed (3), Naft Al-Wasat (1), Duhok (1), Al-Jaish (1), Salahaddin (1) and Al-Minaa (1). The current champions are Al-Zawraa, who won the title in 2015–16.
League of the Institutes
Prior to 1974, the league contained only Baghdad based teams. The league was named League of the Institutes and began its first season in 1962. During its 11 years, the Baghdad league was dominated by the Al-Shorta club as it won over half of the championships.
Since the toppling of the Saddam Hussein regime, the Iraqi league has made some dramatic changes. The league now starts in October and ends in July. Unlike the upper division of most countries' football leagues, Iraq's first league are split into 3 groups as planned in the beginning of the season. But by February 15, 2007, the league split the Baghdad group into two groups since teams could not coordinate games due to violence in the capital. In the first postwar year, the league split 28 teams into 4 groups of seven, based on region: North, South, and 2 Baghdad groups. In the 2006 - 2007 season, the league shrunk to 4 groups with a total of 23 teams.
The top 4 teams from each group moves on to the next round, while the last team of each group is relegated to the Iraq's 2nd division league (in the 2004-05 season, each group was forced to relegate 3 teams because the league had too many teams (35)). The 12 advancing teams are then split into 4 groups of 3, where each team plays the other twice, once home and once away. The first team in each of the 4 groups advances to the next round (the semi-finals.) Each of the 4 remaining teams is then paired with another team, where they will play a home and away match. The 2 winners advance to the championship for a single Baghdad venue match, while the two losing teams play for 3rd place.
Clubs for 2016–17 season
The following 20 clubs are competing in the Iraqi Premier League during the 2016–17 season.
|First season in|
|First season of|
current spell in
|Al-Bahri||Iraq Division One2nd in||1979–80||7||2016–17||0||n/a|
|Al-Husseinb||Iraq Division One1st in||2016–17||1||2016–17||0||n/a|
|Al-Quwa Al-Jawiyaa, b||4th||1974–75||43||1974–75||5||2004–05|
a: Founding member of the Iraqi Premier League
b: Never been relegated from the Iraqi Premier League
Most successful clubs
|1||Al-Zawraa||13||6||1975–76, 1976–77, 1978–79, 1990–91, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2010–11, 2015–16|
|2||Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya||5||10||1974–75, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 2004–05|
|3||Al-Talaba||5||8||1980–81, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1992–93, 2001–02|
|4||Al-Shorta||5||2||1979–80, 1997–98, 2002–03, 2012–13, 2013–14|
|5||Erbil||4||3||2006–07, 2007–08, 2008–09, 2011–12|
|6||Al-Rasheed||3||2||1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89|
"Baghdad's Big Four" dominance
| Top four|
|out of 13|
|This table indicates the results of|
'Baghdad's Big Four' in the Iraqi Premier League in the 1990s and early 2000s.
|Iraq Premier League 2018-19 (blank)|
|Iraq Premier League seasons|
|Football in Iraq|
|Top level football leagues of Asia (AFC)|
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