São Tomé and Príncipe Championship

São Tomé and Principe Championship
Founded 1977
Country São Tomé and Principe
Confederation CAF
Number of teams 2
Level on pyramid 1
Domestic cup(s) Taça Nacional de São Tomé e Principe
São Tomé and Príncipe Super Cup
International cup(s) Champions League
Confederation Cup
Current champions UDRA
Most championships Sporting Praia Cruz (8)
TV partners TVS and RTP Africa
2018 São Tomé and Príncipe Championship

São Tomé and Principe Championship[1] is the top division of the Federação Santomense de Futebol.[2] Currently, there are 16 teams participating at the tier-one competitions of São Tomé and Principe, 10 teams from São Tomé Island and 6 teams from Príncipe Island.

The championship is decided in a match between the São Tomé Island champions and the Príncipe Island champions. The champion heads to the qualifying round of the CAF Champions League each season, for some seasons, there were no participants. Since 1998, the champion competes in the São Tomé and Príncipe Super Cup in the following year. Like Cape Verde further to the northwest in the Atlantic, they are the only two countries in Africa where only the title of each national subdivision spends only a year in the competition and being the few remaining nations to do so. Unlike Cape Verde, it may be the only remaining nation that the national championship consists just the knockout phase and also just the finals match.

The championships are broadcast each year on the state network TVS and across Africa on RTP África.


Before independence on 12 July 1975, there was a colonial competition which took place, one of the titles won was Andorinha won in 1968.

The inaugural season started in February 1977. From that time to 1985, the São Tomé Regional championships was the only competition and was considered the national competition. Its first competition featuring a Príncipe club was in 1985 when they had their first championship season. The São Tomé regionals was again the national champion in 1986, 1991 and from 1994 to 1996.

A few cancellations occurred including 1983, 1987, 1992 1997, 2002, from 2005 to 2006 and in 2008, there was no single season competition in 2010 as the 2009-10 season continued that time.

Title history

Vitória Riboque won the first title after independence, until 1980, it was the sole club who possessed the national titles which was five, from that time up to 2007, it held the most number of titles per club. It was shared with Sporting Praia Cruz in 2007 and shared it for six years until the club became the one who possesses the most championship titles in the nation and being current champions and won ten titles. Guadalupe was the second club to get a title in 1980, then Sporting Praia Cruz, Andorinha, 6 de Setembro Os Operários, the first club from Príncipe to get at title. Later Santana became the seventh club to get a title in 1991, Inter Bom-Bom in 1995, Bairros Unidos in 1996. Sundy became a second Príncipe club to get a title in 2010 and the recent Sporting Príncipe in 2011. The last time a club from Príncipe won a championship title was in 2012. Its recent club to get a title was UDRA, the twelfth one in 2014.

Sporting Praia Cruz won the most titles numbering 8, followed by Vitória Riboque with 5, Os Operários with four, Inter Bom-Bom with three, Bairros Unidos, Guadalupe, Sporting Príincipe and now UDRA of São João dos Angolares with two and seventh and remaining are with a single title including 6 de Setembro, Andorinha, Santana and Sundy. 9 out of 12 clubs who won a championship title are from the island of São Tomé.

By island, São Tomé has the most champ titles with 23 over Príncipe's 7 titles won by two clubs. By district, Água Grande of São Tomé is the leader with 15 which is less than half, Pagué of Príncipe has 7 titles (more than 20%), the remaining are of São Tomé, Me-Zochi has five, Lobata and now Caué has each two and Cantagalo has one. Lobata, Cantagalo and Caué's totals were won by only a club each. 6 of the 7 districts has a club (or more) who won a title or more, Lembá is the only district which a club never won any national titles.

Until 1980, all the titles were based in the Água Grande District, in 1980, Lobata became the second district to have titles. Pagué became third to have a title, Cantagalo became fourth and Me-Zochi became fifth. In 1993, Pagué shared Lobata's totals in 1993 being second, in 1996, Me-Zochi shared with the two districts being second in title rankings by district. This changed as Pagué became second in title totals in 1998 which was later shared with Me-Zochi in 2000 and put Lobata's total third, that district superseded Pagué's in second most title titals in 2001 and putting that district third, Lobata fourth and Cantagalo last. Me-Zochi held the second most titles by district in 2001 and lasted until 2010 when it became shared, since 2011, again Pagué has the second most title totals and again put Me-Zochi third. In 2014, Caué became the recent district to have a title. In 2017, Caué is now sharing with Lobata with the fourth most number of titles by district.

Island or regional championship articles

Clubs 2017

Previous winners

Before independence

  • 1935-37: Unknown
  • 1938: Andorinha
  • 1939: Sport Lisboa e São Tomé 1-0 Bombeiros
  • 1940-51: Unknown
  • 1952: Sporting Clube de São Tomé
  • 1953: Sindicato
  • 1954-58: Unknown
  • 1959: No competition
  • 1960-62: Unknown
  • 1963: Porto de São Tomé
  • 1964: Porto de São Tomé
  • 1965: Andorinha
  • 1966 - Sporting Clube de São Tomé
  • 1967: Andorinha
  • 1968: Andorinha
  • 1969: Andorinha
  • 1970: Andorinha
  • 1971: Sporting Clube de São Tomé
  • 1972: Not known
  • 1973: Andorinha
  • 1974: Not known

Performance by club

Club Winners Winning Years
Andorinha 7 1938, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1968/69, 1970, 1973
Sporting Clube de São Tomé 3 1952, 1966, 1971
Porto de São Tomé 2 1963, 1964
Sport Lisboa e São Tomé 1 1939
Sindicato 1 1953

Since independence

Performance by club

Club Winners Winning Years
Sporting Praia Cruz 8 1982, 1985, 1994, 1999, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016
Vitória FC 5 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1989
GD Os Operários 4 1990, 1993, 1998, 2004
Inter FC 3 1995, 2000, 2003
Bairros Unidos FC1 2 1996, 2001
CD Guadalupe 2 1980, 1981
Sporting Clube do Príncipe 2 2011, 2012
UDRA 2 2014, 2017
6 de Setembro (Praia) 1 1988
Andorinha SC 1 1984
Santana FC 1 1991
GD Sundy 1 2009–10
  • 1also known as Caixão Grande

Performance By Island

Island Winners District Winners Winning Years
São Tomé 25 Água Grande 15 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1984 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1999, 2007, 2013, 2015, 2016
Caué 2 2014, 2017
Cantagalo 1 1991
Lobata 2 1980, 1981
Mé-Zóchi 5 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003
Príncipe 7 Pagué 7 1990, 1993, 1998, 2004, 2009–10, 2011, 2012


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