For a new player looking for a football team in Shanghai, it’s not so easy as you can find a bit of everything online. For youth, senior or veteran players, it’s sometime unclear if some leagues are still running as the last communication available is dated back 2007. In other cases, it’s a one shoot or attempt to create a new league… It’s there on the web but it’s difficult to say if it’s really running or not (some people have great ideas but they get bored after some time). To make things easier, I have listed below the most organized and reliable leagues in Shanghai, China as per today. If you know any other good league in Shanghai, feel free to share and comment below.
Shanghai International Football League [SIFL]
The Shanghai International Football League [SIFL] is an expatriate amateur football (soccer) league based in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. An estimated number of 2,000+ players from many different countries have played in this league since its creation back in 1995 and it’s currently composed of 2 levels of 10 teams with a Premier League and a 1st Division (1st Division created in 2006 facing the league expansion). The league is completely non for profit and run by volunteers independently from any official bodies such as the Chinese Football Association and Shanghai Football Association. Although all its member teams were essentially expat at the early beginning, more and more local Chinese amateur teams are now joining the league facing the lack of resources and proper organization body at local level.
Shanghai Premier League Football Association [SPL]
Shanghai Premier League aka SPL is an amateur football (soccer) league based in Pudong, Shanghai, aiming mainly at the expatriate community. Shanghai Premier League was founded in 2003 when 5 existing amateur teams, among which the Shanghai Traffic Police team, who hitherto played only on occasional fixtures, decided to group themselves and play in a double round-robin league format. Simultaneously a Shanghai Premier League Cup is also played. The league’s season runs from October to June, with a start tournament to kick off the season and an end tournament to close the season. Occasionally special tournaments and events are held.
WePlay Shanghai Football League 7 a side
WePlay league is an opportunity for anyone who wants to play football in a fun and competitive environment. We are always developing links with bars and clubs, where all players will benefit from special deals. Our ultimate goal is to unify the footballing community in Shanghai. So get involved and let’s see if you’re either Cristiano Ronaldo or the Fat Ronaldo.
SPL Veteran League
A new league created in 2013 targeting veteran players (meaning above 35 years old)
ASAS Super Seven social football league
ASAS Super Seven social football league was established in 2006. We specialise in the operation of 7-a-side league. Our leagues aim to give everybody the opportunity to play social soccer matches in a professional and good structured environment, where the emphasis is on participation, inclusion and fair play.
Also, it seems that ASAS recently started the Shanghai Corporate Soccer League (SCSL)
The SCSL consists of 10 corporate teams including companies like IBM, Toshiba, Pepsi, ctrip.com, HSBC, and Shanghai Media Group. Game are played on Sunday at the Century Park Stadium.
Shanghai International Youth Soccer League (SIYSL)
Shanghai International Youth Soccer League (SIYSL) is committed to providing a safe, fun, and progressive learning environment to develop recreational and competitive youth soccer players to the best of their ability. The goal of the league is the development of mental and physical talent of all players to the highest level possible, both as an individual and as a team player. SIYSL was launched in the fall of 2006, now it has been the most watched youth soccer league within expatriate community in Shanghai. More than 4000 players from around 20 international schools have participated into the league during the last 6 years. SIYSL has spring and fall seasons every year composed of 4 age groups. SIYSL also organizes 2 tournaments every season, which is “Family Day” tournament in Pudong and “Sino-Cup” tournament in Puxi.