By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: The Kuwait Premier Football League in its 61st year is underway with a new board of directors, new sponsor (Zain Telecommunications) and a modified format.
Ten teams are competing in the ‘Zain League’: Al-Nasr, Al-Arabi, Al-Salmiya, Tadhamon, Kuwait, Jahra, Sahel, Qadisiya, Kazma and Fahaheel.
The teams will play according to a modified system this time around, as they will play matches home and away against each other to determine their order in the standings, after which two groups will be formed. The first will include the top six teams who will keep their points total and compete in home and away format to declare the winner. The bottom four teams will compete in the same home and away format, and the last two will be relegated to the first division.
The league this year is expected to be more competitive as teams had better preparations and training inside and outside Kuwait, besides having added new professional players, while some teams hired new capable coaches.
Meanwhile, president of Kuwait Football Association (KFA) Abdallah Al-Shaheen was on TV recently and said Kuwait football league was going through hardships and could not make any achievement during the past 10 years. He noted FIFA’s claims that “KFA does not have any clear philosophy for development”, and this is what the new board has adopted now.
Shaheen said KFA decided to adopt the idea of total renewal of the national team, adding “there will not be players of an older age on it.”
Commenting on ticket prices, he said this is left for the clubs and KFA will not interfere in them. He said the matches of His Highness the Amir Cup and His Highness the Crown Prince Cup will be held at Jaber Stadium.
Shaheen said the premier league champion will receive KD 100,000, second place will receive KD 60,000 and third place will receive KD 40,000.
As for the first division, the champion will receive KD 30,000 and second place KD 20,000.
Zain League first round schedule of matches:
Nasr vs Al-Arabi
Salmiya vs Tadhamon
Kuwait vs Jahra at 6:50 PM
Sahel vs Qadisiya at 9:10 PM
Kazma vs Fahaheel 8:10 pm