Israeli Premier League
The Israeli Premier League is an Israeli professional league for association football clubs. It is the highest tier of the professional Israeli football league system, contested by 14 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Liga Leumit. Seasons run from August to May, with teams playing 32 matches each, five games are played on Saturdays, with one game played on Sundays and one game on Mondays. It is sponsored by Toto Winner and therefore known as Ligat Winner. The competition formed on 1999 following the decision of the Israeli Football Association to form a new league, since 1923, a total of 14 clubs have been crowned champions of the Israeli football system. The current champions are Hapoel Beer Sheva, who won the 2015–16 season, the Israeli Premier League was created in 1999 to replace Liga Leumit when the Israel Football Association decided to reshuffle all the leagues in hopes of improving competition. In its first season there were 14 clubs, the top thirteen clubs from the 1998–99 season and that season three clubs were relegated and one from Liga Leumit was promoted. Over the years the league has changed names though the new names were simply commercial rebranding, including Ligat Pelephone, Ligat Toto, there are 14 clubs in the league. At the end of season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Liga Leumit while two highest-placed teams of Liga Leumit are promoted in their place. For the 2012–13 season the league was decreased from 16 to 14 clubs as a result of reforms passed by the IFA on 27 June 2011, the participating clubs first play a conventional round-robin schedule for a total of 26 matches. Following this, the top six teams play in a championship playoff, upon its conclusion, the first place team wins the Israeli championship and qualifies to participate in the second qualifying round of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League. The runners-up and the third-placed teams qualify for the qualifying round of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. In Addition, the Israeli State Cup winners qualify for the qualifying round of the 2014–15 UEFA Europa League. If the State Cup winners are also one of the teams to finish in the top three places then the fourth-placed team will also play in Europa League. In case the State Cup winners also win the Israeli Premier League then the league team will play in Europa League second qualifying round. In addition, the eight teams will play each other once to avoid two relegation spots. A total of 27 clubs have played in the Israeli Premier League from its inception in 1999, for a list of winners and runners-up of the Israeli Premier League since its inception, and top scorers for each season, see List of Israeli football champions. Four clubs have been members of the Israeli Premier League for every season since its inception and this group is composed of Beitar Jerusalem, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Maccabi Haifa, and Maccabi Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv F.C.
Maccabi Tel Aviv Football Club is an Israeli football club and part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv sports club. Founded in 1906 as the HaRishon Le Zion-Yafo Association, Maccabi Tel Aviv is the oldest, largest and most decorated club in Israel. With the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv in 1909, in 1922 they became the first Jewish football club to participate in local competitions. Maccabi Tel Aviv have won more titles than any other Israeli club, winning 22 League Championships,23 prestigious State Cups, the club is named after the Maccabees. Maccabi Tel Aviv FC invest a lot of money in the development, the clubs youth system operate football academies at three sites in the Tel Aviv area, working with over 750 children aged 6–15. The club also runs 17 youth teams with 400 players between 9 and 19 years old and these teams tend to compete very successfully in local and national leagues. Durims decided to establish the Palestine League, in the same year the State Cup was founded under the name People Cup. That same year, the first Tel Aviv derby was played, with Maccabi winning, Maccabi won their first State Cup in 1929 after beating Maccabi HaShmonai. Maccabi won the State Cup for a time in 1930, beating the 48th Regiment of Foot 2–1, and a third in 1933. In 1936 the club was invited to play in the United States, on their way, Maccabi played in France, losing, 2–0, to Racing Paris and 3–1 to Lille. In the United States, Maccabi defeated the All-star team of New York City in front of 50,000 in Yankee Stadium. Maccabi also defeated the American Soccer League team in Brooklyn and Philadelphia on their ground, 1–0, and also played in Canada. Maccabi continued their tour in the USA and lost, 3–2, to St. Louis Stars, after returning from the United States, Maccabi players went on strike because they had not been paid. In 1937, after a year of action, the Football Association accepted their demands. In that year, Maccabi Tel Aviv also won their first league title, in 1939, after the start of World War II, Maccabi won their second championship. At the end of the season, Maccabi went to another tour and they played 18 games, winning 11, losing 5 and drawing 2. The games were against State sides, regional sides and five tests against the Australian national team, winning one, drawing one, in 1941 Maccabi won their first double, Winning both the league and State Cup, beating Hapoel Tel Aviv, 2–1, in the final. Between 1941 and 1945 the league was suspended because of the war, in 1946, the league was still suspended but the State Cup returned with Maccabi beating Hapoel Rishon LeZion, 6–0, on aggregate in the final
Maccabi Jaffa F.C.
Maccabi Jaffa Football Club was one of the first football teams in Israel. It was founded in 1950 as Zionist association of Maccabi Jaffa, the Team played for 32 seasons in the Israeli Top Division, though its only title was The Israeli Toto Cup for the Second Division. Maccabi Jaffa finished three times at the place in the Israeli First Division. In 1957, Maccabi Jaffa played at the final of the Israeli State Cup, the fans club Maccabi Kabilio Jaffa won the Israeli District Cup of the fourth and sixth divisions in the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Zionist association of Maccabi Jaffa was founded in 1949 by Albert Kiyosso, in the season of 1954–1955 Maccabi Jaffa played in the promotion play-offs for the Israeli top division with Hapoel Kfar-Saba, Hapoel Kiryat Haim, and Beitar Jerusalem. Jaffa won the Play-offs and promoted for the first time to the Israeli major league, during the 1950s Maccabi Jaffa was struggling in the bottom part of the Israeli First Division. The peak of this period was in the season of 1956–1957 when Maccabi Jaffa participated in the final of The Israeli State Cup, in the 1960s, Maccabi Jaffa was close twice to win the championship. In the Season of 1961–1962 Maccabi Jaffa finished second in the Israeli Major League, only 2 points from the champions, the season of 1963–1964 considered as the best season of Maccabi Jaffa history. In this season Maccabi Jaffa fought the championship against Hapoel Ramat Gan, in the games between the teams, Jaffa had won 3–1 in Ramat Gan, and 1–0 in Jaffa, but that wasn’t enough. Ramat-Gan won the Championship, only 1 point above Maccabi Jaffa, in that season, Maccabi Jaffa striker Israel Ashkenazi was Israels top scorer with 21 goals. Maccabi Jaffa had started the 1970s in the second division, the rest of the 1970s, Jaffa was a mediocre team in the Israeli first division. The only season worth mentioning is 1976–1977. in this year, Jaffa finished in the second place, after Maccabi Tel Aviv, thats after Jaffa beat Maccabi Tel-Aviv in both games of that season. Jaffas first season in the 1980s was promising, as the finished in the third place. Jaffa became a league team, until in the season of 1986–1987. Jaffa did not succeed to promote to the first division in the 1980s, and finished the seasons in mid-table of Liga Artzit. The first years of the 1990s seem good for Maccabi Jaffa, in the season of 1991–1992 Jaffa finished in the sixth place, but won their first title ever, Israeli Toto Cup of the Liga Artzit. Jaffa lost 1–2 and 0–3 and remained in the second division, in the season of 1994–1995 Jaffa finished in the first place, and promoted to the first division after 8 years in the second division. The season of 1995–1996 was not good for The Bulgarians, as Jaffa finished in the bottom place, Jaffa came back to life in the season of 1997–1998
Beitar Tel Aviv F.C.
Beitar Tel Aviv Football Club was an Israeli football club based from Tel Aviv. The club merged in 2000 with Shimshon Tel Aviv to create Beitar Shimshon Tel Aviv, the club were founded as a youth team, but soon began to compete in adult leagues, advancing within three years to the top division. Their first success came in 1940, when they won the Palestine Cup, two years later, they won the cup again, setting a record for the highest score in the final, when they beat Maccabi Haifa 12–1. In 1945 the club won its division in the War League, nowadays the IFA recognize both clubs as champions for this season. On 6 May 1945 the club played visiting team Hajduk Split, the Yugoslav team have beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv 7–2, and Beitars victory was held as a great feat. The club reached the cup again in 1947, playing Maccabi Tel Aviv. The tempestuous match was abandoned with Maccabi leading 3–2 after Beitar seemed to have scored a goal, which wasnt given, Beitar Tel Aviv were founder members of the Israeli League in 1949, finishing 6th out of 13 in the 1949–50 season. Despite finishing second bottom in 1953–54, the club avoided relegation as the top division was expanded to 14 teams. The following season they finished 5th, with Nisim Elmaliah the divisions top scorer with 30 goals, despite only finishing 7th out of 12 in 1955–56, Beitar had both the divisions top scorers, Avraham Levi and Michael Michaelov with 16 goals each. In 1960–61, the finished bottom of the division, and were relegated to Liga Alef. They remained in the second tier until 1963–64, when they were promoted as champions, after finishing one place above relegation in 1964–65, Beitar were demoted again after finishing bottom a year later. However, they bounced back in 1968–69 as Liga Alef champions, the club reached the State Cup final for the fourth time in 1977, but were beaten 1–0 by Maccabi Tel Aviv. After several years in mid-table, the early 1980s saw the club develop a yo-yo pattern, relegated in 1979–80, the club were promoted in 1980–81, before being relegated immediately, but then bouncing back up in 1982–83. Two years later the club were relegated again, before bouncing back immediately yet again, the 1988–89 season was the clubs best yet in the top flight, finishing 4th, and was bettered two years later, when a third-place finish was achieved. The 1992–93 season saw another relegation and another return in 1993–94. The relegation in 1995–96 was their appearance in the top flight. At the end of the 1998–99 season they were relegated to the third division, at the end of the 1999–2000 season the club merged with fellow Liga Artzit Tel Aviv side Shimshon Tel Aviv. Most league goals in a season,30, Nisim Elmaliah, Liga Alef 1954–55 Beitar in Football – Beitar Tel Aviv
Haim Michael Revivo is a retired Israeli football player, and a businessman, who played as a midfielder. Haim Revivo was born to a traditional Mizrahi Jewish family in Ashdod and he played football at Hapoel Ashdod until the age of 16 when he transferred to the youth club of Gadna Tel Aviv Yehuda. Revivo liked that the club had no senior team and he would be a free agent once he reached 18, when he turned 19, Giora Spiegel brought him to Bnei Yehuda after both Hapoel Kfar Saba and Maccabi Petah Tikva turned him down. Revivo spent three seasons at Bnei Yehuda before transferring to city rivals, Hapoel, when Reuven Atar requested to leave Maccabi Haifa for Hapoel Haifa, Yaakov Shahar was quick to sign a replacement. He brought in Revivo, who was happy to join Haifa since he believed that there he could get to a European club. In his first season with Haifa, Revivo led the league with 17 goals, in his second season, he wanted to move from the left side of the midfield to the center of the pitch. Then club manager, Giora Spiegel, was reluctant but in order to avoid a fight with his star, Revivo paid off dividends and was once again the league leading goal scorer. Haifa was quick to sell their star to Spanish club, Celta de Vigo, Revivo became a starter at Celta Vigo. In October 1996, shortly after Revivo joined the club, he made headlines because of the league clash on Yom Kippur. Revivo desperately wanted to avoid the match that fell on the Jewish holiday, the club was able to move the match fixture ahead by a couple of hours and Revivo played for as long he could before being brought off in the second half to hurry home for the holiday. He played in Spain a few successful years and he decided to leave, and caused much controversy with his move to Istanbul rivals Galatasaray. His spell at Galatasaray only lasted a year before he left Turkey, after his return to Israel, he signed for Israels F. C. Ashdod, but after 12 games he retired from football. He is now a businessman and one of the former owners of F. C. Ashdod. Revivo played in the midfield along with Avi Nimni and Eyal Berkovic who he would end up playing with most of his national team career. A year and a later, Revivo debuted with the Israel national under-21 football team on May 13,1992 in a friendly against their Turkish counterparts at Herzliya Municipal Stadium in Israel. He scored on his debut and added four goals in nine appearances. Six months after making his debut, he represented the full side in a 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier at Ramat Gan Stadium against Sweden. Haim Revivos profile on the IFAs official website Haim Revivo at Soccerbase Haim Revivo at the Internet Movie Database
Liga Leumit is the second tier in the Israeli football league system below the Premier League. There are 16 clubs in the league, at the end of each season, the two lowest-placed teams are relegated to Liga Alef while the two highest-placed teams from Liga Alef are promoted in their place. The two highest-placed Liga Leumit teams are promoted to the Israeli Premier League while the two teams from Israeli Premier League are relegated in their place. The participating clubs were first play a conventional round-robin schedule for a total of 30 matches, following this, the top eight teams will first play in a promotion playoff. And the eight clubs play a single round-robin schedule, the Israeli State Cup winners qualify for the third qualifying round of the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League. In addition, the eight teams play out to avoid two relegation spots. Since the 2010–11 season, One match is broadcast live on Sport +5 LIVE channel on Friday or Saturday afternoons, the rest of the matches has no TV cover. Liga Leumit came into existence at the start of the 1955–56 season, however, it was usurped as the top flight in the 1999–2000 season, when it was replaced by the Premier League. Since then it has operated as the tier in the Israeli football league system