THE International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) has finally put to bed the raging debate on which is the better soccer league between the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and the Absa Premiership of South Africa.
REPORT BY DANIEL NHAKANISO SPORTS REPORTER
The Germany-based organisation rated the local league as superior to the lucrative South African league yesterday.
The IFFHS is an organisation that chronicles the history and records of national football associations basing on all national championship, cup competitions and inter-continental club competitions. They then produce Club World rankings.
In its latest rankings of the Strongest National League in the World released yesterday, the IFFHS put the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League on position 67 in the world, 14 places better than the well-sponsored and much publicised Super Diski.
The PSL is ranked eighth on the continent with 300,5 points while South Africa’s league is on 11th position with 260,0 points. South Africa share this position with Qatar league, which is equally lucrative.
This is despite the fact that the Zimbabwe league continues to lose some of their best players to the super-rich South African league with Soccer Star of the Year Denver Mukamba the latest victim of the great trek after he joined Bidvest Wits from champions Dynamos.
The strongest footballing nations in the world, which send more clubs to the various continental competitions, have the advantage that only their five top scoring teams are taken into account.
This probably explains why the local league is ranked higher than the South African league as local clubs such as Dynamos have in recent years done very well in continental competitions such as the Caf Champions League while South African sides have traditionally struggled.
While this system is by no means definitive proof of superiority, it should boost the local Premier Soccer League’s reputation both on the continent and across the world.
Spain’s La Liga retained its place as the top league in the world for the third year in a row and their superiority was confirmed earlier this week when they provided all 11 members of the FIFPro World XI for the past year.
The Sudanese league, home to Warriors and former Dynamos kingpin Edward Sadomba, has taken the continent’s top gong from Egypt after attaining 401 points to land on position 35 in the world.
Egypt’s league inactivity due to a civil strife early last year has seen the North Africans plummeting to position 14 in Africa and 91 in the world.
Behind the Sudanese league is Tunisia which is ranked 42nd in the world on 372,0 points while Mali (45), Morocco (56), Nigeria (60), Ghana (65) and Angola (66) completed the list of the top seven leagues In Africa.
Brazil’s Serie A is second behind La Liga thanks to the performance of Corinthians in the Club World Cup in December last year.
Without the 34 points the team claimed from winning the competition, the German Bundesliga could have come in second.
It’s worth pointing out the downward trend of the English Premier League, notably since 2010, with the EPL dropping to fifth spot.
The erratic performances of English clubs and their poor showing in continental tournaments also means that other leagues are closing the gap to the once-feared league.