New women’s league proposed by Spanish Football Federation
Women’s football in Spain is set for a revamp after a new league was approved by the Spanish Football Federation’s (RFEF) board of directors on Tuesday.
The new format, based on British, Australian and German models, must be signed off at a General Assembly to be held in April, with the intention for it to be implemented next season.
The plan outlines two divisions, an ‘Elite Division’ and a lower, ‘Promise Division’.
The Elite Division would be an annual league, with a minimum of eight and a maximum of 16 teams.
The Promise Division would be made up of eight to 20 teams, with the possibility of expansion to 32 depending on demand. It would consist of two regional groups, before a second stage to earn promotion.
“It will be a new model of competition that aims to relaunch women’s football,” said the RFEF’s general secretary Andreu Camps.
Camps also said that clubs competing in the new league would require a license from the RFEF. He said it “will be the highest official competition and therefore the one that will gain qualification for European competitions.”
To promote Spanish talent, clubs would need to field a minimum, as yet unspecified, number of players from their own academies. More financial support would also be given to those that invest in the game at grassroots level.
Women’s football in Spain was given a boost in January when a European record crowd of 48,121 turned out to watch Athletic Bilbao play Atletico Madrid at San Mames Stadium in the Copa de la Reina.
Spain have also qualified for this summer’s Women’s World Cup, which starts on June 7, and have been drawn in Group B with Germany, China and South Africa.