Qatar Stars League's decade of big success
The Qatar Stars League (QSL) has come a long way since its formation in 2008. The Qatar Professional Football League Development Committee was set up in December, 2006, by the Qatar Football Association (QFA) to lead the enhancement of professional football in the country. This new body was a permanent committee within the QFA and was eventually turned into what is now known as the QSL in 2008.
The ambition was to develop professional football within Qatar while fulfilling the Asian Football Confederation’s requirements as a professional league.
The QSL is responsible for managing all commercial, broadcast, marketing, ticketing and administrative matters relating to the league, and its 12 member clubs.
Its vision is to be among the top three leagues in Asia by 2020. Mission is to promote, develop and support a professional football platform in order to bring all people together through passion for the game.
The QSL has always been working in close co-ordination and co-operation with all partners and stakeholders in order to raise the bar on itself.
Right from the inaugural edition in 2008-09 till this season, 10 league competitions have been held with high success rate.
The 2017-18 season witnessed a slimmer and sleeker QNB Stars League with 12 teams instead of 14 and 22 rounds of action compared to 26 in the previous year. The tournament was rebranded and a new logo was launched. The Qatar National Bank became the title sponsor for six seasons.
QSL Online takes a look at each of the past 10 QSL tournaments.
In 2008-09, Al Gharafa were crowned champions with 56 points. Al Sadd, Al Rayyan and Qatar SC finished behind them in that order.
In the 2009-10 season too, Al Gharafa emerged as the winners with 53 points to complete a hat-trick of titles. They were followed by Al Sadd, Al Arabi and Qatar SC. It was The Cheetahs’ best time ever and the squad included the likes of Brazilian stars Juninho as well as Clemerson Soares and Iraqi striker Younis Mahmoud.
In 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, Al Duhail emerged as victorious, while Al Sadd became the 2012-13 winners. The following two seasons also saw Al Duhail top the table.
Then came Al Rayyan’s incredible achievement after earning promotion from the Second Division. The Lions amassed a whopping 62 points from 26 games, 14 more than runners-up El Jaish.
Al Duhail again lifted the coveted league shield by coming on top in the following season and they went one step higher this time by triumphing with an unbeaten record and 60 points, 11 more than second-placed Al Sadd.
In the history of past 10 QSL editions, Al Duhail won the title six times, Al Gharafa twice, and Al Sadd and Al Rayyan once.