CPL 2 rules, guidance and a start date have finally been provided to clubs. As for who will compete and an actual fixture list, alas we are still very much in the dark.
To read about the finances of running a Cambodian club click here.
Clubs invited to apply for CPL 2
According to the communique that teams received, prospective participants have until August 31st to apply to join the second-tier. Said procedure involves the completion of 13 forms related to eligibility and club licensing.
Aside from this, the league also announced regulations related to foreign players, youth players and club officials.
CPL 2 Rules – How many foreign players?
Clubs may register up to 6 foreign players, but unlike CPL 1 only 4 may be on the pitch at once.
Of the four players 2 can be from any FIFA nation, while 1 can be from the AFC and one from the AFF. Meaning a 2+1+1 rule. This does though mean that two foreigners can be on the bench – aside from the 4 on the field – something that will make substations potentially complicated.
To read about the CPL foreigner rule click here
Youth player rule
Clubs must have 4 players under the age of 22 on the pitch at all times, meaning that said players can still be substituted, but must be replaced by someone of the same age group.
This is in line with the rules CPL 1 follow, which have at times caused some controversy.
Clubs may register up to 35 players with a minimum of 15, with up to 15 club officials being named. Of the 15, 8 are allowed on the bench at any one time. Clubs can select 5 substitutes, 3 of which can be used during a game.
When will the CPL 2 season start?
Clubs can apply for entry from July 10th, (today), with applications running until August 31st. Clubs that wish to participate will have to comply with club licensing rules related to CPL 2, rather than the top-tier. Although if they wish to qualify for promotion they will have to meet CPL 1 regulations.
The CPL 2 season is scheduled to start on Saturday September 16th, although this theoretically at least will depend on applications. With this in mind no fixtures are likely to be announced until early September at the very earliest.
CPL 2 Rules – What don’t we know
Quite simple who will take part, with the recent communique merely asking for applications. The wording also suggests that the CPL are actively still trying to court more teams to take part in the league, although this cannot be confirmed.Kampot FC anyone?
What is also not clear from the release is whether these rules also apply to the reserve teams of clubs, with no clear distinction being made, nor whether clubs can register players for their A and B side consecutively. This is of course if reserve and developmental sides are being allowed in CPL 2 at all.
Therefore while we know know the CPL 2 rules, we still cannot be sure about the format. General consensus though is that it will be 8 teams playing each other 3/4 times, as well as there being promotion based playoffs.
Regardless though fans can at least rejoice in the fcat that the league will at least (almost) definitely be taking part.
Who do we need to watch out for?
While it is definitely too early to talk about who might win a league in which we do not know the participants, betting early is always a smart move.
The BPVE opinion on this would be that National Police would have to be your top bet for champions, with any number of reserve teams also challenging. But for a smart outside bet? That would have to be big spending Angkor City FC…..