Belgian Provincial leagues

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The Belgian Provincial leagues are the lower leagues for Belgian football. It is divided into 9 regional league systems (one for each province, but Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant are merged and contain also the football teams from the Brussels Capital Region). Each league system is itself divided into 4 levels (except for Luxembourg where there are only 3). The number of leagues at each level depends on the province, but every province must have only one league at the top level. The best teams from the 9 first divisions can promote to the Belgian Promotion, the lower and fourth level in the national leagues (either directly, or after playoff matches).

The first divisions[edit]

There are nine leagues at the first level of the provincial leagues:

The Brabant division one is named after the former Belgian province of Brabant that was split in 1995 to form the provinces of Wallon Brabant and Flemish Brabant.

The regular season[edit]

As of 2006, each division is composed of 16 clubs. The regular season is thus composed of 30 matchdays, generally played on Sunday. The nine league winners of the regular season qualify for the Promotion, as well as the second placed teams of the three most active provinces of the previous season, i.e. the provinces that counts the most active teams in the national and provincial leagues. Those twelve clubs replace the last three teams of each league of the Promotion. The six other second placed teams enter the promotion playoff on the second matchday.

As each team relegated from the Promotion must play in its own provincial first division, the number of newcomers in each provincial league may be different. There may then be more relegated teams than usual from the first division to the second division of each province, so that the total number of teams in the league stays constant.

Each provincial general assembly can decide to organize its own relegation playoff including teams from the first and the second divisions but there must be at least two teams directly relegated to the second division.

The promotion playoff[edit]

The promotion playoff is played in three matchdays. The first one is composed of two matches played by the four thirteenth placed teams of each league of the Promotion. The host team is the first to be drawn. The two losers enter the second matchday whereas the two winners remain in the Promotion. Four matches are played in the second matchday, between the six second placed teams of the provincial first divisions that did not qualify directly and the two Promotion teams that lost in the previous round. The four matches are grouped by two, and each of the Promotion teams play a match in a different group. The two winners of each group play a group final in the third matchday to decide the last two teams to promote.

The second divisions[edit]

There are three leagues at the second level in each province, except for Namur and West Flanders where there are only two. Each league is played between 16 teams. The system of promotion and relegation is set up by the annual provincial assembly.

The third divisions[edit]

The number of leagues at the third level in each province is as follows:

  • West Flanders: 3
  • East Flanders: 5
  • Antwerp: 4
  • Limburg: 4
  • Brabant: 6
  • Hainaut: 4
  • Namur: 3 (14)
  • Liège: 5 (15)
  • Luxembourg: 5

Between brackets is the number of teams in each league if it is different from 16. The system of promotion and relegation is set up by the annual provincial assembly.

The fourth divisions[edit]

The fourth level is the lower level of provincial football, except for Luxembourg where the lower level is the third one. The system of promotion is set up by the annual provincial assembly.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]