Maltese Challenge League

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Maltese Challenge League
BOVChallenge League.png
Founded1910; 112 years ago (1910)
Country Malta (18 teams)
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toMaltese Premier League
Relegation toNational Amateur League
Domestic cup(s)Maltese FA Trophy
Current championsŻebbuġ Rangers
Current: 2022–23 Maltese Challenge League

The Maltese Challenge League (referred to as the BOV Challenge League for sponsorship reasons[1]) is the second-highest division in Maltese football, behind the Maltese Premier League. The First Division was the precursor of the present Premier League until the latter was revamped for the 1980–81 season with the Maltese Challenge League instituted for the 2020–21 season following the premature end of the previous season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[2]


Since the 2022–23 season, the league is made up of eighteen teams. Over the course of the season, each team plays twice against the others in the league, resulting in each team completing thirty-four games in total. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and zero for a loss. The teams are ranked in the table by:[3]

  1. Total points gained

In the need of a tie-breaker, a play-off game is played. At the end of the season, the top two teams are directly promoted to the Premier League; an additional place is reserved for the winner of the relegation play-off between the twelfth-placed Premier League team and the third-placed First Division side. The four lowest-finishing teams are relegated to the National Amateur League.[4]


Ta' Qali Hamrun
Centenary Stadium Victor Tedesco Stadium
Capacity: 3,000 Capacity: 1,962
Malta - Attard - Ta' Qali Centenary Stadium 07 ies.jpg Victor Tedesco Stadium.jpg


Year Champions Runner-up Third Place (Promotion) Relegated
1996–97[5] Xgħajra Tornados Tarxien Rainbows Santa Luċija, Għaxaq
1997–98[6] Rabat Ajax St. Patrick St. George's, Dingli Swallows
1998–99[7] Gozo Żurrieq Mellieħa, Siggiewi
1999–00[8] Ħamrun Spartans Xgħajra Tornados Gżira United, Żebbuġ Rangers
2000–01 Marsa Lija Athletic Tarxien Rainbows, Żurrieq
2001–02 Marsaxlokk Mosta Qormi, St. Andrews
2002–03 Msida St. Joseph Balzan Youths Gozo, Xgħajra Tornados
2003–04 St. Patrick Lija Athletic Tarxien Rainbows, Rabat Ajax
2004–05 Ħamrun Spartans Mosta Balzan Youths, Gozo
2005–06 St. George's Marsa Lija Athletic, St. Andrews
2006–07 Ħamrun Spartans Mqabba San Ġwann, Naxxar Lions
2007–08 Tarxien Rainbows Qormi Mellieħa, Marsa
2008–09 Dingli Swallows Vittoriosa Stars Rabat Ajax, Senglea Athletic
2009–10 Marsaxlokk Vittoriosa Stars St. Patrick, San Ġwann
2010–11 Balzan Mqabba Mosta Pietà Hotspurs, Msida St. Joseph
2011–12 Melita Rabat Ajax St. Patrick, St. George's
2012–13 Naxxar Lions Vittoriosa Stars Dingli Swallows, Mqabba
2013–14 Pietà Hotspurs Żebbuġ Rangers Ħamrun Spartans, Żejtun Corinthians
2014–15 Pembroke Athleta St. Andrews Żurrieq, Msida St. Joseph, Birżebbuġa St. Peter's
2015–16 Gżira United Ħamrun Spartans Gudja United, St. George's, San Ġwann
2016–17 Lija Athetlic Senglea Athletic Naxxar Lions Fgura United, Għargħur
2017–18 Qormi Pietà Hotspurs Żabbar St. Patrick, Melita, Rabat Ajax
2018–19 Sirens Gudja United Santa Luċija Marsa, San Ġwann
2019–20 Zejtun Corinthians Lija Athetlic No Relegation
2020–21 No Promotion Qormi
2021–22 Żebbuġ Rangers Marsaxlokk (Group A Runner-up), Pietà Hotspurs (Group B Runner-up) Senglea Athletic, Mgarr United, Luqa St. Andrew's,

Pembroke Athleta, Rabat Ajax, St. George’s,


  1. ^ Azzopardi, Kevin (12 July 2015). "Malta FA, BOV agree new three-year sponsorship deal". Times of Malta.
  2. ^ "BOV Challenge League". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  3. ^ "First Division Seasonal Rules". Scoresway. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ "2020–21 BOV Premier League set for exciting start". Malta Football Association. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  5. ^ Malta 1996/97
  6. ^ Season 1997/98 - Rothmans Division 1 - Final Classification
  7. ^ Malta 1998/99
  8. ^ Malta 1999/2000

External links[edit]