Belgian Division 2

  (Redirected from Belgian Second Amateur Division)

The Belgian Division 2, commonly referred to as simply Tweede Afdeling (in Dutch) or Division 2 (in French) is the fourth-highest division in the Belgian football league system, one level below the Belgian National Division 1. It was created by the Royal Belgian Football Association in 2016, replacing the Belgian Third Division and named Belgian Second Amateur Division until the 2019–20 before it was renamed due to the negative connotation of the word amateur. The division consists of three separate leagues with 16 teams each, two of these leagues consist of teams playing with a license from the Voetbalfederatie Vlaanderen (VFV, the Dutch speaking wing of the RBFA) and one with teams with a license from the Association des Clubs Francophones de Football (ACFF, the French-speaking wing of the RBFA).

Belgian Division 2
Founded2016
CountryBelgium
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams48
Level on pyramid4
Promotion toBelgian National Division 1
Relegation toBelgian Division 3
Domestic cup(s)Belgian Cup
Current championsKnokke (A), Tienen (B) and Francs Borains (C)
(2019–20)
Current: 2020–21 Belgian Division 2

HistoryEdit

The Belgian Second Amateur Division was created in 2016 as successor of the Belgian Third Division following an overhaul of the Belgian football league system which saw the number of professional clubs reduced to 24. As a result, from the third level and below only amateur clubs remain.[1] The two remaining levels above the Belgian Provincial leagues were reformed into three amateur levels, namely the Belgian First Amateur Division, the Belgian Second Amateur Division and the Belgian Third Amateur Division. As a result, the Belgian Provincial leagues dropped to the sixth level of the league system. In 2020 the levels three to five were renamed to Belgian National Division 1, Belgian Division 2, and Belgian Division 3 respectively.

Competition formatEdit

In each of the three separate leagues, the season is a regular round-robin tournament with 16 teams. The winners of each league are directly promoted to the Belgian National Division 1. Besides these three promoting teams, one additional promotion is possible: for this twelve other teams are in contention as four teams in each league qualify for the end of season playoffs. The eight teams from the VFV side are grouped together to compete in a VFV playoff for two spots in the playoff final, the four teams from ACFF side playoff for one spot. The two VFV winners and the ACFF winner are joined by the 13th placed team from the Belgian National Division 1 in the playoff final, with the winner of those four taking the final promotion spot (in case the team from the Belgian National Division 1 wins, this team remains at that level and no extra team from the Belgian Second Amateur Division is promoted besides the three league winners).

Regarding relegation, on ACFF side the bottom three teams are relegated to the Belgian Division 3, while on VFV side only the bottom two teams from each league are relegated. Additionally, based on the language group of the directly relegating teams from the Belgian National Division 1 each season, it is possible that there will be up to three extra relegations on each side. On ACFF side this just means that any additional required relegations will happen from bottom upwards, starting with the 13th finisher, then 12th finisher and so on. On VFV side, a relegation playoff is organised each season between the two teams finishing 14th, with the losing team first in line to drop in case needed, followed by the winner. If an additional relegation would be necessary, the 13th placed teams would need to playoff as well.[2]

Past winnersEdit

Season Division A winner (VFV) Division B winner (VFV) Division C winner (ACFF) Promotion play-off winner
2016–17 Knokke Berchem Sport Châtelet Aalst
2017–18 Rupel Boom Tessenderlo RWDM47 RFC Liège
2018–19 Sint-Eloois-Winkel Patro Eisden Maasmechelen La Louvière Centre Visé
2019–20 Knokke Tienen Francs Borains not held due to coronavirus pandemic
2020–21 season cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "La réforme du championnat approuvée: une grande lessive se prépare en D2 (INFOGRAPHIE)" (in French). dh.be. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Bondsreglement" (PDF) (in Dutch). Royal Belgian Football Association. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Amateurcompetities definitief stopgezet, jeugdvoetbal tot U13 blijft mogelijk" [Amateur leagues cancelled definitively, youth matches until U13 remain possible] (in Dutch). sporza.be. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 26 January 2021.