Second division proposed for Australian soccer by 2019
SYDNEY (AP) — The Association of Australian Football Clubs says it hopes that a second division below the A-League will be running by late 2019 with a promotion and relegation system in place five years later.
The association said in a statement Friday that the new league, to be called The Championship, could run in tandem with the A-League during the 2019-20 season.
But a spokesman for Football Federation Australia, which runs the A-League, was quoted as telling the Australian Associated Press that the sport’s national governing body had not been engaged “in any meaningful way” with the association over the creation of a second tier.
The AAFC, which is a recently formed lobby group, said in its statement that participating clubs would be required to have a stadium with minimum capacity for 3,000 people.
The association also said it would aim to have two visa players from the Asian or Oceania football confederations, and would be aiming to have the winner of The Championship secure a place in the Asian Champions League.
AAFC chairman Rabieh Krayem said that a national second division would improve the quality of soccer in Australia and help fulfil the membership requirements of either FIFA or the Asian Football Confederation to have a promotion and relegation system in place in the A-League.
Krayem said the AAFC will call for expressions of interest from clubs or consortiums in December, with bids to close in May of next year.
The number of planned teams was not disclosed.