Alfa League

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Alfa League
Alfa League.png
Founded1895
CountryTalamia
ConfederationIFCF
Number of teams14
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toBeta League
Domestic cup(s)Krater Talamia
International cup(s)
Current championsAlla Fofokoy
(12th title)
(2019/2020 Alfa League)
Most championshipsFortis Epops (29 titles)
TV partnersPro Diorux TV
Current: 2020/2021 Alfa League

The Alfa League (often referred to as the Talamian Alfa League outside Talamia) is the top level of the Talamian football league system and it is organized by the Talamia Sports Summaka (TSS).

The division is contested annually by 14 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Talamian Beta League, Talamia's second tier.

Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 26 matches (playing each other home and away). Every game is played on Sunday since its foundation, back in 1895.

Format[edit]

Competition[edit]

In the history of the Alfa League, the competition format has changed several times, due to the economic difficulties faced by the league over the years. The number of admitted clubs ranged from a minimum of seven (1966) to a maximum of 18 (from 1921 to 1939). In 1979 the format still used today was adopted. It involves the participation of 14 clubs. The teams play a total of twenty-six matches, thirteen home games and thirteen away games. At the end of the season, the last classified is automatically relegated, while the penultimate plays a play-out with the second-ranked in Beta League. If two or more teams are tied in points, the first value to be taken into account is that of direct clashes, after which the goal difference and finally the scored goals. The season runs from the last Sunday of August to the first of May and all matches are played at 15:00 on the seventh day of the week.

International qualification[edit]

In 2019, for the first time in history, the Talamia Soprts Summaka decided to participate in the selections for the IFCF Champions League and the Challengers Cup, becoming an official member of IFCF. From that season onwards, therefore, the Alfa League winners will qualify for the most important tournament, while the teams qualified from second to fourth place will participate to the minor trophy. The first Talamian team to enter the IFCF Champions League was Alla Fofokoy, winners of the 2019-20 Alfa League, while Clinepalas United, Fortis Epops and KarpìStomà qualified for the 2020-21 Challengers Cup.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

Following the unification of the seven kingdoms, dating back to 1786, HoopoeBall was recognized as the Talamian national sport. It was therefore necessary to wait more than a century before football began to gain popularity. The first official document attesting a football match in Talamia dates back to 1890. It refers to a challenge launched by the Ptoco district to the Lampride district of Clinepalas. The event gathered a crowd of over five thousand people. Ptoco's team dressed in white shirts, Lampride's team wore black. The match ended 1-0 for Ptoco. Later, the two companies were officially founded and, five years later, together with eight other teams from all over Talamia, they created the Talamian Alfa Legue. The first edition saw 10 teams compete and due to the limited funds, the away matches were not played. Ptoco, who had gained much popularity following the success of five years earlier, triumphed.

The "Twenty Years Civil War"[edit]

The first twenty years of life of the Alfa League saw as the undisputed protagonists of the championship the first companies born: SF Lampride and Ptoco. The two quarters of Clinepalas gave life to what is today called the "Twenty Years Civil War", in which the first twenty editions of the newly formed football league were shared. Although the number of affiliations grew and despite the growing interest in football throughout the country, the teams that played the very first game kept the record. At the end of the twenty years, it was Ptoco who dulled it. The "white" quarter took home 15 championships, leaving only six to the "black" one. Meanwhile, the number of teams had risen from 10 to 16, so much so that in 1910 they were forced to start the championship for the first time in August, rather than in January, as it had been up to that point. The Alfa League, however, was about to change profoundly. In 1913 the Clinepalas United was born from the merger of some minor clubs, and it would have monopolized the victories in the following years. After two seasons in the Beta League, the new team won the first top title in the 1916-1917 season, ending the civil war.

The Clinepalas United dominance[edit]

With the 1916-1917 season, a long cycle of victories by the newly formed Clinepalas United opened. The formation, born from the union of seven small clubs in the capital of Talamia, managed to win a total of eleven titles in thirteen seasons. The exceptions were represented by a victory of Lampride (1924-1925) and one of Ptoco (1926-1927). After the first surprising victory of the club that until a year earlier was a member of Beta Legue, the company continued to grow and was the first to buy and have a foreign player play in the league: Xe No's. The club's large investments led the Alfa League to grow further. However, the management of President Creocope Proedro turned out to be a long-term failure. The return to victory by Lampride and Ptoco was only a wake-up call: losing money and sponsors, the team was forced to give up their best players and make room for new teams.

Alternations, Fortis Epops and decline[edit]

Talamian football went through almost fifteen years of uncertainty. The poor organization of the companies and of the Alfa Legue had failed to meet the great interest of the public. Many stadiums were not up to standard and many clubs did not pay salaries to players. This led to a decrease in the teams involved in the competition (from 18 to 12) and a continuous succession of victories. In fourteen seasons, eight different teams were established. Worthy of note are the FK Katacra, the only club able to win the championship for two consecutive seasons, and Fortis Epops. This last team was born by the will of the Epopsoli magnate Noto Plousi. The president's unlimited financial resources allowed the club to establish itself as the only new strength in the league. After the victory of the 1936-1937 season, Fortis Epops returned to winning in 1943 and kept the head of the ranking for eighteen consecutive seasons. The club's financial availability, however, was only a drop in the sea of ​​crisis in which the Alfa League poured. In addition, Fortis Epops' continuing victories contributed to a decline in public interest. With the rise of wrestling and the birth of Too Tough Talamia, the first official Talamian wrestling federation, football began its decline. The number of teams admitted to the championship dropped further and in 1950 it was again forced to start the season in January. The lowest point in the history of the Alfa League was reached ten years later. After the eighteenth consecutive victory of Fortis Epops, the national championship was officially suppressed. In its place, only small regional championships were played again, until 1966.

1970s: the rebirth[edit]

Thanks to a further great investment by Noto Plousi, 1966 marked the rebirth of the Alfa League. The first edition was attended by just 7 clubs, the winners of the seven regional championships of the previous year. For the first time in their history, neither SF Lampride nor Ptoco were registered: the Mentrenalio championship was won by Alla Fofokoy. The winner itself was Alla Fofokoy, who had previously won three times. Then several different clubs managed to win the championship for the first time. Football started to gain interest again, in particular thanks to the rise of new Talamian footballers, raised in their clubs and immediately launched into the first team, to save on salaries. Among them stood out Ensem Eio, a native of Fofokoy, and who played his entire career in the team of his hometown, becoming a record holder and imposing himself as the best scorer in the history of the Alfa League. To date, his record has not yet been equaled. In nineteen years of career, he managed to score 212 goals. The 1970s marked the reaffirmation of football on a national level. The stadiums filled up again and a more prudent administration allowed the Alfa League to return to growth. The 1979-1980 season opened with 14 clubs and inaugurated the format still adopted today.

1980s: the "Big Four"[edit]

The 1980s represented the true explosion of the Talamian football scene, both nationally and internationally. The battle to win the Alfa League was brighter than ever, with Clinepalas United, Fortis Epops, FK Katacra and Alla Fofokoy fighting fiercely with each other and dividing the top four places of the championship each season. Nicknamed the years of the "Big Four", the 1980s also saw the growth of the Talamiana national team, supported by the development of the youth sectors of the clubs. Arriving for the first time in its history at the final stages of the World Cup, the Talamiana national team could finally count on players of great depth and international caliber. Among these, Sanisla Pedalisismi stood out, still a record holder in the Alfa League. In his career he played in all the Big Four, starting from the youth sector of Clinepalas United and retiring at the age of 39 in Fortis Epops.

1990s: the return of Ptoco[edit]

The 90s marked the return to Ptoco's victory. Backed by a hundred years of history, the team of Clinepalas succeeded in reaffirming itself again at the top of the Talamian Championship, taking home five victories, the last in the 1997-1998 season. To this day, that remains the club's last victory. Meanwhile, after an incredible rise from the Omega League, the PAS Geitorisma arrived in the Alfa League in the 1995-1996 season. After an incredible salvation conquered on the last day of the first championship, the team surprised everyone and the following year won second place. The 1999-2000 season saw, for the first time, the triumph of a team from the Pento region. The PAS Geitorisma, in fact, just three years after its debut in the top flight, won the Alfa League.

2000s and 2010s: the "Battle for the Third Star"[edit]

With the opening of the new millennium, new teams tried to take the scene as a performer. Among these are Afestosja and Dapsileīs, as well as PAS Geitorisma. Epacra Delphis returned to success in 2001-2002, after almost 35 years. In 2006 it was the turn of Alla Fofokoy, who won the Alfa League for the eleventh time, 22 years after the last success. However, the fierce competition failed to stop the so-called "Battle for the Third Star", fought between Fortis Epops and Clinepalas United, both chasing the thirtieth success of their history. The 2018-2019 season saw Epopsoli's team triumph for the twenty-ninth time, while for the moment Clinepalas United has stopped at twenty-three victories.

Clubs[edit]

The following fourteen clubs competed in the 2020/2021 Alfa League.

Team Location Stadium 2019/1010 season
Acroscope Acroscope Pagos Arena 13th in Alfa League
Afestosja Afestosja Afestosja's Olympikos Stadium 9th in Alfa League
Alla Fofokoy Logo.png Alla Fofokoy Fofokoy Toxeutà 2019/2020 Alfa League champions
Clinepalas United Clinepalas Boy-King Park 2nd in Alfa League
Epacra Delphis Epacra Basi Als Arena 7th in Alfa League
Fortis Epops Epopsoli Retroikia 3rd in Alfa League
Hellas Anen Anen Dionùso Stadium 5th in Alfa League
Ighli Ighli Von Nukés Arena 8th in Alfa League
FK Katacra Katacra Micurà de Rü Stadium 11th in Alfa League
KarpìStomà Logo.png KarpìStomà KarpìStomà Potam Park 4th in Alfa League
SF Lampride Clinepalas EpopSfaira Stadium 12th in Alfa League
PAS Geitorisma Geitorisma DORU 6th in Alfa League
Ptoco Logo.png Ptoco Clinepalas EpopSfaira Stadium 10th in Alfa League
Saniis 1900 Saniis 1900Park 2019/2020 Beta League champions

External links[edit]