League Two Set To Start Alongside CPL

League Two

Football fans across the country can breathe a sigh of relief as we understand CL2 will go ahead as scheduled in August this year. There has been growing concerns all summer with teams seemingly going out of business every week. Representatives from the remaining five plus new boys Life Football Club met at CPL headquarters to discuss plans for this season.

A Six Club League… .. No

The five remaining clubs was immediately four with Koh Kong invited but not showing up at the meeting. This the clearest indication that their time as a club is over. Next Step FC and Siem Reap FC were born present alongside Bati, National Police and new boys Life. The objective of this meeting was too thrash out a plan to operate a second tier is Cambodian football that can develop the game here, attract investment and most importantly actually run. CPL CEO Satoshi was in good spirits and opened the meeting with an honest and direct statement admitting that everyone involved in organizing football in this country is surprised by the number of clubs dropping out.

A Development League…

The first idea on the table was too readjust the second division and make it a U23 League with open spots for over age and foreign players. CPL clubs would be invited to play their youth teams in the second division without ever getting promoted.  This was quickly dismissed by both Siem Reap clubs and police all sighting that they’re under contract with players already and this would cause lots of issues. Furthermore Next Step head coach Charlie Pomroy said:

“The idea that the second tier would have a completely different set of rules would only make the gap between the two leagues even harder to jump. All five remaining clubs want to play in the CPL and this would’ve made that impossible”

It was agreed that the second division should be as much like the premier league as possible to better prepare anyone hoping to make the jump.

Compromises, Understanding & Enthusiasm..

What was very apparent in today’s meeting was that everybody was keen to see that football was played and it would be made as easy as possible for teams to compete. The introduction of a European style system of allowing top clubs to have B Teams was a popular idea. The understanding would be that they could move Khmer players freely between the two squads with some conditions to be agreed but no Foreign players could play for their B Teams therefore giving younger players at their clubs the chance to play a higher level. The five remaining clubs then thrashed out the regulations for their squads with clubs being allowed to sign SIX foreign players and FOUR on the field at any I’ve time following the conditions of 2 FGN, 1 Asian & 1 ASEAN.

The Final Outcome… .

Whilst agreements still need to be made with the  CPL clubs BPVE understands that the final league will begin August 6th as planned and the draw for fixtures to take place on the third week of June. The transfer window opens tomorrow on June 1st and closes July 31st.

From the top tier there will be Tiffy Army, Svay Rieng, Phnom Penh Crown, ISI & Boeung Ket playing B Teams consisting of all Khmer national players. Bati, Siem Reap FC, Life FC and National Police will also join and NSFC will join but rumours circulating that there is a rebrand imminent.

Ten clubs, playing home and away equals eighteen rounds. Promotion will be based on Club Licensing regulations and if the highest placed non b team meets the requirements then they would play off with the bottom placed team from CPL.

The League will end in May next year with the Hun Sen Cup and a revamped League Cup also to be played.

For everyone involved we can breath and begin to get excited about what will happen over the coming weeks. For now Satoshi can also get a good night’s sleep knowing that the football families of Cambodia are eager and with him.

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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