The 2021-22 Challenge League is set to be played on a new format following the MFA Exco’s decision to abandon this year’s championship has increased the number of teams competing in the championship next season.
Last season, the Challenge League was contested by 15 teams. However, with the championship brought to an early end by the MFA EXCO after the health authorities failed to remove the Legal Notice that banned organised sport, the second-tier of Maltese football is facing itself with the prospect of having 22 teams in the division next season.
This situation evolved as Senglea Athletic, Lija Athletic, Tarxien Rainbows and Żejtun Corinthians were relegated from the Premier League while Marsa and Pembroke Athleta were not promoted to the Premier League. On the other hand, Qormi were the only team to lose their status as they were the only side to have been relegated before the championship was stopped.
Added to that, Luqa St Andrews, Melita, Mġarr and Rabat won promotion from the National Amateur League.
In this scenario, the Malta FA Executive Committee met earlier this week to propose a format for next season which will then be discussed in next week’s MFA Council meeting and a vote of approval will be taken.
The proposed format for next season will see the 22 teams split into two groups of 11 teams each, with the top two teams from each section winning promotion to the Premier League.
All teams in the Challenge League next season will be able to to register five overseas players, but only four will be eligible to play in the senior team.
The fifth foreign player will be eligible to play in the Youth League.
From the four foreign players eligible for the senior team, clubs can field three players on the pitch.