Introducing the Taiwan Challenge Football League

We have a new writer here as Pete Lewry talks about Taiwan football. In this, he takes a look at the new pyramid system that's come in to play. 

The Taiwan Challenge Football League

On the 4th March, matches took place as sides competed against the bottom two from last season for the final two final spots in the 2020 Taiwan Premier League.

Unfortunately for the challengers, it seemed a little too soon for them as Taipei Red Lions and Min Chuan University retained their Premier League places for the upcoming season.

So what next for these sides that failed? Historically they would disappear into one of Taiwan’s several unregulated leagues or vanish completely. This year is different though as we have a change, something that marks a huge moment for Taiwanese football, as they will enter the Taiwan Challenge Football League, Taiwan’s brand new second division.

This will be a four-team league which I know seems small at first, but the league organiser Chen Liang Chen expects growth and states that the vision is to have 12 teams split between the North and South of the island by 2026.

This league will see the champions automatically promoted with second place going into a promotion/relegation playoff.

Personally, I think that the league will really help Taiwanese football. As it will offer young Taiwanese players who maybe aren’t quite ready for the top flight a competitive environment to develop and push on to bigger things.

This is something that isn’t really available now outside of playing at university. There will be restrictions on foreign players (initially 4+1 AFC player) and the potential for B teams of the bigger clubs and with loan signings allowed.

All in all, it’s good to see the CTFA building Taiwan’s football environment and creating more competitive football with this and the introduction of youth leagues. This league is due to begin on the 9th May (virus pending) and hopefully will capture the attention to help it grow into a great asset for Taiwanese football.

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