The Chinese Football Association Super League (simplified Chinese: 中国足球协会超级联赛; traditional Chinese: 中國足球協會超級聯賽; pinyin: Zhōngguó Zúqiú Xiéhuì Chāojí Liánsài), commonly known as Chinese Super League (simplified Chinese: 中超联赛; traditional Chinese: 中超聯賽; pinyin: Zhōngchāo Liánsài) or CSL, currently known as the Ping An Chinese Football Association Super League for sponsorship reasons, is the highest tier of professional football in China, operating under the auspices of the Chinese Football Association (CFA).
The Chinese Super League was created by the rebranding of the former top division Chinese Football Association Jia-A League in 2004 (see Chinese Jia-A League, not to be confused with Chinese Football Association Jia League, which is the current second tier league).
Because of low temperatures in winter time, the season starts in March and ends in November. The Chinese Super League consists of sixteen clubs.
Originally contested by 12 teams in its inaugural year the league has since expanded: there are 16 teams competing in the current season. The title has been won by six teams: Shenzhen Jianlibao, Dalian Shide, Shandong Luneng, Changchun Yatai, Beijing Guoan, and Guangzhou Evergrande. The current Super League champions are Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao.
The League is now running under the authorization of the Chinese Football Association, The CSL Company, which is currently the commercial branch of the League, and is a corporation in which the CFA and all of the member clubs act as shareholders. It is planned that the CFA will ultimately transfer their shares of The CSL Company to the clubs and professional union which consists of CSL clubs will be established as the League's management entity.Close