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The South African Premier League is popularly known as the PSL or Absa Premiership due to the fact that ABSA is the official sponsor after the PSL cut ties with Castle Lager. The PSL is the elite league in South Africa which was founded after independence in 1996 and it keeps on getting better. The official website is http://www.psl.co.za/
The league initially had 18 teams but this was changed in the 2001/2 as it was trimmed to 16 teams after concern was raised over the issue of fixture congestion due to far too many league matches and tournaments.
Two teams are relegated at the end of the season, the 16th team is automatically relegated and replaced by the top team in the NFD and the team on the 15th position will enter play offs with three teams other teams from the NFD in the play-offs.
South African teams are not as successful as the teams from North and West Africa in terms of the African Champions League, but they remain competitive, with Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns having one star apiece in their trophy cabinet.
Mamelodi Sundowns or ‘The Brazilians’ are the most successful team in this division with a total of eight titles to their name followed by the two Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates who have four apiece. Supersport United have three titles and everyone will always remember these three titles because they won them in three consecutive seasons,
There is a growing concern over lack of goals in the PSL because strikers are failing to bag a mere 20 goals in a single season, and the problem manifests itself in the Bafana Bafana team which does not score as much as they would like, but the coaches have vowed to sort out this problem.
Most PSL matches are beamed live on SuperSport which is part of the mega television deal signed in 200, a deal which put the Absa Premiership on the map because the PSL became 15th ranked league in the world in terms of commercial broadcast deals. SABC also screen live matches during the weekends.
Premier league teams spread across various provinces and there are a lot of foreign based players from neighbouring countries especially Zimbabwe. Mamelodi Sundowns go as far as South America in search of players and have a good number of players from Brazil, Uruguay and even New Zealand and all this adds to the excitement of the ABSA Premier League.
One of the major dark side of the PSL is vandalism and hooliganism at the various stadiums from disgruntled fans but the PSL are working hand in glove with the responsible authorities to make sure that this issue is completely dealt with because it portrays a bad image of the South African game and has an impact on the attendance at stadiums as numbers continue to drop due to fear death from some supporters.
Mamelodi Sundowns narrowly won the league last season after a tight race with the buccaneers. Sundowns and Orlando Pirates are being tipped to win the league in the upcoming season but you cannot rule out Kaizer Chiefs predictions
and Supersport United because they have strong squads too.