Cyprus Mail

CFA agrees on First Division structure

The Cyprus Football Association (CFA) on Tuesday decided to amend its articles of association, mandating the league’s First Division to feature at least 12 and a maximum 14 teams.
The amendment was a compromise proposal by the CFA’s chairman, who found himself in an escalating disagreement between a coalition of 10 small clubs (six from Division One, two from Division Two and the representative of Third-Division clubs), who wanted to increase the number of teams in the First-Division league to 14 and the six biggest clubs (AEL, APOEL, Apollon, Anorthosi, Omonia, and AEK) who opposed any increase from the current 12-team structure.
The big clubs argued that it would be inappropriate to change the number of teams in the First Division mid-season.
Following the CFA’s mediating proposal, a near-unanimous decision was made – only Ermis Aradippou voted nay – to set a minimum number of teams in the first league at 12, and a maximum at 14.
Small clubs want to increase the number of slots available in the top league so that more teams can reap the financial benefits of television coverage, but the bigger clubs maintain that fewer teams will mean more games between strong opponents, leading to greater spectator interest.
The CFA also decided to create an eight-member committee to prepare a proposal on the number of teams and format of the First Division league of 2015-2016.
The committee will feature Anorthosi, AEL, APOEL, Omonia, Apollon, Nea Salamina, Ethnikos Achnas, and a representative of the Second Division clubs.

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