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Copyright© 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 The AFA and London Society of Association Referees established 2006  



About Us

The AFA and London Society of Association Referees

The AFA and London Society of Association Referees' is a local branch of the national Referees' Association. It is one of the largest referees' societies in the country and works in close cooperation and partnership with the AFA (see below).


Formed in 1907 the Amateur Football Alliance is one of the unique county football associations affiliated to the English Football Association to have no geographical boundaries, the others being RAF, Army, Navy and the 'Oxbridge' Universities. That said, the vast majority of AFA football is played in the Greater London area.


A brief history of how the AFA was formed as an alternative to the FA, and how the organisation has evolved over the years, can be found here.

AFA Competitions

AFA football is rooted in the amateur spirit, with the emphasis firmly set on sportsmanship and hospitality. Many competitions in the AFA still proudly maintain their traditions regarding hospitality for away teams and match officials but it's certainly not just 3 cheers and handshakes all-around after the game with a plate of sandwiches in the bar afterwards. Football within the AFA is played with as much passion, commitment and skill as within any other county as is evidenced by the outstanding record of achievement by AFA clubs in external competitions.


Many of the leagues - operating at weekends and midweek - have a history dating back to the early 1900's with one, the London University League (see below) dating back to 1836. The larger leagues - like the AFC and the SAL - are regionalised to cut down on travel times and many clubs have links to schools and other institutions.

County Cups

Run at all levels of Senior football including veterans and at youth level the AFA run many County Cup competitions. It is not unusual for an AFA club to run 7 teams, with some running more, all of which will be entitled to enter a county cup competition.


Formed in 2002 from the amalgamation of the Old Boys League and the Southern Olympian League.

OBL - Previously the largest league within the AFA (if not the UK) comprising 59 clubs and 291 teams.

SOL - Formed in 1911 with clubs from all areas of Greater London.


The SAL was founded in 1907, the same year as the Amateur Football Alliance to which it is affiliated. Nowadays the SAL consists of thirty-four clubs fielding approximately 215 sides based in the Greater London area.

The SAL provides football for a wide range of abilities from the more ambitious players in the higher divisions who compete hard to win, to those further down the league who are less driven but still like a good, competitive game of football each week.


Formed in 1961 and now running 6 divisions with 19 member clubs and incorporating the Arthur Dunn Cup, established in 1902 for clubs consisting of former pupils of public schools.


In 1993 the amalgamation of the London Banks (1907) and London Insurance (1908) leagues now consists of five divisions and a number of cup competitions for the 28 member clubs.


Formed in 1965 with 3 match officials appointed to every game this midweek evening competition has 30 teams, all from the legal profession. Mostly played on artificial surfaces at central London locations, there are 3 divisions and 2 cup competitions.


With a history dating back to 1836 the London University League runs 7 divisions for men and 2 for women. Most games are played on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons.

Founded in 1913-14 to cater for the excess of clubs wishing to partake in the Arthur Dunn Cup. Currently 21 clubs compete in the 8 competitions from Senior to 7th XI and Veterans. Matches are held on Saturdays apart from Veterans on Sundays.