The fate of CPL 2 is set be decided at a meeting of clubs to be held on June 12th at the Cambodian Premier League headquarters in Phnom Penh.
The move follows on from the announcement of the CPL 1 schedule yesterday and was communicated directly to clubs.
You can read about the CPL 1 schedule here.
What is the likely fate of CPL 2?
There are essentially 12 clubs that have been “invited” to take part in the second-tier, which includes 6 real clubs and the reserve teams from 6 of the CPL 1 teams.
The six main clubs are Next Step FC/Angkor City FC, National Police, Siem Reap FC, National Academy, Koh Kong and the newly formed Life FC.
You can read about Life FC here.
Yet while CPL CEO Satoshi is desperate for all clubs to take part, there have been question marks about the ability of Koh Kong to compete, with problems not only coming from the club itself, but also other teams who would somehow have to finance getting to the province in a largely underfunded league.
And the reserve teams?
BPVE have it under good authority that Phnom Penh Crown, PKR Svay Rieng, Visakha FC, Boeung Ket FC, Tiffy Army and last years runner-up in CPL 2 ISI being invited to enter their second string.
Said clubs have been given until the Monday meeting to decide on if they will enter a team. This means the prospect of up to 12 “teams” in the second-tier, although the final number is likely to be lower.
What else is to be decided?
Other things to be decided are key policies such as the number of foreigners allowed in the division. At the last meeting it was suggested that no foreigners would be allowed at all, although it is understood that a 3+1+1 compromise might be agreed.
Other key decisions will be how many matches will be played and when, with a double round robin played on Saturdays expected to be the most likely scenario.
Whether play-offs will take place, or not is not known, although with a division that last year did not promote based on merit and that will now be dominated by reserve teams, the prospect is less than appealing.
Will the league be financed?
One of the most important decisions will be how CPL 2 is actually financed, with lack of funds being of such a problem last year that quite literally 5 of the 12 clubs from 2022 have since folded. This problem will no doubt be confounded by the potential participation of Koh Kong and the travel expenses that they add to the equation.
Ironically it is the appearance of the reserve teams that may well be the savior in this case, with the CPL likely to have offered a number of financial sweeteners in order to entice said clubs to take part in the division.
This article is adapted from BPVE, (https://bpve.com/) reported and edited from the great team – Cambodia Sports Review. (https://www.cambodiasportsreview.com/)
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