GZIFL: League History

The league was first played in 2005 and has already run nine successful competitions up until the present 2010/2011 Season. Prior to the formation of the league there had only been one main football team in Guangzhou catering for overseas players.

The Elephant and Castle team had been home to the majority of the international football community who had passed through Guangzhou since the team’s inception in the late 1990’s. However, by 2005 the Elephant and Castle Team was attracting as many as 40 players for every training session and if was apparent that more teams were needed in Guangzhou.

The Elephant and Castle Team divided and a new Spanish speaking team, La Armada, was formed. Some other players left to form a school team from Utahloy International School. Five further teams including Adidas and Decathlon Sports were recruited and an 8 team league was created. 

The first season began in September 2005 to coincide with the beginning of the regular football calendar and ran until the end of 2005. The first season was a great success. The football was very competitive and the teams bonded well on and off the field. After a short break for the Spring Festival the league recommenced with the addition of new and stronger teams including a Turkish team, Club Istanbul and Jun Jing Garden, the Guangzhou borough housing association champions.

This set a pattern for the development of the league, focusing on the strength and quality of the teams involved, which has continued in the years since. 
  • Competitions Format

The league has been played twice a year in Spring and Autumn seasons, from September to December for the Autumn season and March to June for the Spring season. During the formative years of the GIFL, the format varied from season to season depending on the number of teams taking part, and fixtures were arranged on either a home and away basis, or a round-robin format with end of season play-off games to decide the Champions.

Season  Champions Runners up 
 Autumn 2005             Adidas                       La Armada                  
 Spring   2006  Elephant & Castle  Bulldozer
 Autumn 2006  Elephant & Castle  Jun Jing Garden
 Spring   2007  Elephant & Castle  Paddy Field
 Autumn 2007  Paddy Field  Elephant & Castle
 Spring   2008  Club Istanbul  Paddy Field
 Autumn 2008  Elephant & Castle  Paddy Field
 Autumn 2009  Arabic Team  Elephant & Castle
 Spring   2010  Golden Stars  Paddy Field
 2010/2011  Owners F.C.    Paddy Field
 2011/2012  Owners F.C.  Paddy Field
 2012/2013  Paddy Field  Ciabatta Latinos 
 2013/2014
(20 Games)
DivA:GZ Allstars
DivB: Latin GrillHouse
DivA: Ciabatta Latinos
DivB: Sultan Restaurant 
Cup 2014 The Tavern Bar
2014/2015 for DivA (23 Games) Latin GrillHouse Naeems Inc
Autumn 2014 for Div B (12 Games) Sultan Restaurant Colliers
Challenge Cup 2015 for DivB (7 Games) The Brew
Autumn 2015 (14 Games) Revolucion Taksim All Stars