Egyptian Premier League logoThe Egyptian Premier League, also known as the Nile League for sponsorship purposes, after the addition of title sponsor Nile Developments, is a professional association football league in Egypt and the highest division of Egyptian football league system. The league comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Egyptian Second Division A. Seasons mostly run from August to May. Unlike most other leagues, all games are played all over the week.

The Egyptian Premier League was founded in 1948, unifying the local leagues that had existed previously. 70 clubs have competed in the league since its founding. Al Ahly have won the title 43 times, more than any other club. Their closest rivals, Zamalek, have won the league 14 times. Only five other clubs have won the league; those clubs are Ghazl El Mahalla, Ismaily, Al Mokawloon Al Arab, Olympic Club, and Tersana.

The Egyptian Premier League is one of the top national leagues, ranked second in Africa according to CAF’s 5-year ranking for the 2022–23 season, based on performances in African competitions over the past five seasons. Egyptian teams have won the CAF Champions League a record 16 times, and Al Ahly was named the African Club of the Century by CAF. Two clubs have also won the CAF Confederation Cup.

The Egyptian Premier League once had among highest average stadium attendance in Africa and the Middle East until the Port Said Stadium riot occurred on 1 February 2012 after a league match involving Al Masry and Al Ahly, where 74 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. Since that date, all domestic football matches were played behind closed doors until 2017, when the local security authorities started to allow fans to attend selected matches with gradually increasing numbers starting from 100 attendance only and in 2021, the league started to welcome back thousands of supporters.

History of the Egyptian Premier League

Egyptian Premier League - The Al Ahly squad that won the first Egyptian Premier League season

The Egyptian Premier League, Egypt’s top professional football league, has a long and storied history that dates back to the early 20th century. Here’s an overview of its historical development:

Early Years:

  • The Egyptian Premier League’s origins can be traced back to 1948, although organized football in Egypt existed even earlier. The establishment of a formal league structure marked a significant step in the development of Egyptian football.
  • The inaugural season took place in 1948-1949, with Al Ahly SC emerging as the first champions. Al Ahly and Zamalek SC, both based in Cairo, quickly established themselves as dominant forces in Egyptian football, a trend that continues to the present day.

Growth and Expansion:

  • Over the decades, the league expanded to include more teams, fostering increased competition and interest in Egyptian football.
  • The league structure underwent changes, with the number of participating teams fluctuating, and adjustments made to the points system and format to enhance competitiveness.

Notable Clubs:

  • Al Ahly Sporting Club and Zamalek Sporting Club are the most successful and popular clubs in the history of the Egyptian Premier League. The rivalry between these two clubs, known as the “Cairo Derby,” is one of the fiercest and most celebrated in African football.
  • Other clubs, such as Ismaily SC, Al Ittihad, and Al Masry, have also made significant contributions to the league’s history and have their own dedicated fanbases.

International Success:

  • Egyptian football clubs have achieved success not only domestically but also on the continental stage. Al Ahly, in particular, has been a powerhouse in African football, winning numerous CAF Champions League titles and participating in prestigious international club competitions.


  • Like many football leagues around the world, the Egyptian Premier League has faced challenges, including financial issues, governance concerns, and occasional incidents of violence in stadiums. Efforts have been made to address these challenges and improve the overall quality and reputation of the league.

Modern Era:

  • In recent years, the league has continued to evolve, with ongoing efforts to enhance professionalism, infrastructure, and the overall fan experience.
  • The Egyptian Premier League remains a vital platform for developing young talent, with many players progressing to successful careers both within and outside the country.

In summary, the Egyptian Premier League has a rich history that reflects the passion and love for football in Egypt. It has served as a stage for intense rivalries, showcased the talents of exceptional players, and contributed significantly to the nation’s footballing culture.