As you might know, the soccer world has stopped since the COVID-19 virus has been declared a pandemic. Portuguese soccer was no exception, and until today, there were zero certainties about its continuity.
Finally today, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), has made an announcement regarding all the non-professional championships, and it was not what most fans hoped for.
As of now, all the Portuguese soccer championships below and including 3rd Division have been terminated until next season. This means that Campeonato de Portugal and all the Regional Championships will have no winner and the promotions and relegations will be decided in the next weeks in a specific way that is not yet clear for anyone.
We will leave you here with the full statement translated into english:
“The FPF met this Wednesday, via teleconference, with the district and regional associations to analyze the impact of the pandemic COVID-19 on senior non-professional football.
The FPF understands that public health conditions still do not exist so that clubs with amateur structures, as is typical of the events in which they participate, can train and compete in safety.
On the other hand, the State of Emergency is in force in Portugal at least until the 17th of April, and its extension is possible.
These circumstances prevent the normal course of competitions, and it is unpredictable to foresee when and if such public health conditions will still be met during this sporting season.
Thus, the FPF Board decided to conclude, without winners, all of its senior competitions that are suspended on this date, with no titles being awarded or the ascending and descending regime being applied.
The FPF will analyze and communicate as soon as possible how the two clubs that access the II Football League will be appointed, as well as the representatives of Portugal in the Champions League for women’s football and men’s futsal.
The FPF will continue to study with the district and regional associations the ways in which national non-professional competitions will take place in the 2020/21 season.”
As you can see, the statement itself does not solve all the issues in Portuguese soccer. First and second divisions are under the rule of Liga Portugal and not the FPF, so the future of these two competitions is yet to have a definitive course.
Much is being said regarding closed-doors matches, but it seems clubs are having a hard time to reach an agreement. The implications of the termination of the top two championships in Portuguese soccer are huge, culminating with the access to European competitions in the next season, more specifically, Champions League and Europa League.
To us, SunVoyage Sports, this is a hard blow but we cannot forget the most harmed people by this news – all the Portuguese soccer athletes. They will not only struggle for not doing what they love the most but also financially, as most of these clubs are not in a stable situation and the payment of salaries is just a big question mark.
To all the Portuguese soccer athletes, professional or amateur, we just want to wish the best of fortunes and say that all we can do now is wait until next season, and focus on working hard to come back stronger than ever.