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The league was founded by the IFA in 1974 as the Iraqi National Clubs First Division and was the first nationwide league for clubs in Iraq. The current format sees 20 teams playing 38 matches each (each team in the league plays twice, home and away), giving a total of 380 matches in the season.
Since the beginning of the Iraqi Premier League, it has been dominated by the four biggest clubs in Baghdad: Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Shorta, Al-Talaba and Al-Zawraa, which together contest the Baghdad derbies. From the 1989-90 season to the 2005-06 season, the league was won every time by one of the four Baghdad teams.
After the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, due to the poor security situation in the capital, players began to leave the Baghdad-based clubs and join clubs in the north such as Erbil and Duhok. This led to a shift in the dominance of the "big four" as Erbil won three league titles in a row from 2007 to 2009 and Duhok won the league in 2010.
In the 2008-09 season, none of Baghdad's "Big Four" made it into the top four and that is the only time in the league's history that this happened; the top four places were taken by Erbil, Al-Najaf, Duhok and Al-Amana. Since then, however, Baghdad's "Big Four" have dominated the league again, winning all the titles since 2015-16.
Of the 80 teams that have participated in the league since its inception in 1974, 11 have won the title. Al-Zawraa is the most successful club with 14 titles, followed by Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya, Al-Talaba and Al-Shorta.
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|Iraqi Premier League||〉|