Football League kicks off tomorrow |22 November 2021
The 2021-2022 league season kicks off tomorrow, but before that the Seychelles Football Federation staged a curtain-raiser match on Saturday at Stad Linite between the country’s under-18 and under-19 selections.
The two teams are preparing for the Council of Southern African Football Associations (Cosafa) competitions, in December, in Lesotho.
The 2021-2022 league follows the cancellation of the 2020-2021 season in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seychelles Football Federation (SFF) secretary general Georges Bibi made the announcement in a press interview at the Maison Football, Roche Caïman last Friday. Also present was the SFF director of competitions and club licensing, Clive Delorié.
Mr Bibi said since the SFF did not get the green light from the health authorities to begin a new season 2021-2022 in August to end in May 2022 as planned, this league competition will be a short one.
Elaborating further, Mr Delorie said in order to complete the SFF league in May 2022 in time to resume the 2022-2023 league season in August 2022, the SFF has had to sacrifice two knockout competitions ‒ Airtel Cup and SFF Cup ‒ this year.
The SFF league competitions will include the men’s Premier League divided into two ‒ Mahé Premier League for teams on Mahé, and Inner Island Premier League for teams from Praslin and La Digue ‒, the SFF Championship for the first three in the two different leagues. The second and third division sides will merge together in a Championship league.
The men’s Premier league has been designed in that manner to minimise the cost of travel by teams in this time of the pandemic.
As there are seven teams from Mahé and five from the inner islands in the Premier League, to make the two league competitions even and help cope with the limited time to finish the 2021-2022 season in time, the SFF has promoted second division side PTL Bazar Brothers to the Premier League to join the Mahé Premier League competition while Baie Ste Anne-based second subsidiary league side Santos have been granted dispensation to join the Inner islands Premier League.
The Mahé Premier League will be played on a round robin basis (home and away) while the Inner islands Premier League will be played over three legs. The three top finishers from the two leagues will clash with each other in the one legged, either home or away, in the SFF Premier League Championship.
As the Mahé Premier League is an open league, the remaining five teams shall continue playing each other to accumulate points to earn the highest finish possible. The team who finish last will be relegated to the Championship league, while the one who take seventh position will meet the Championship runners-up in a two-legged playoff.
No teams from the Inner islands Premier League will be relegated but the top three will progress to meet the top three from the Mahé Premier league for the SFF Premier League Championship competition. As for the remaining three teams, they will fight for a best finish possible.
Speaking of the Championship second and third division leagues, Mr Delorie said there are 14 teams including West Boys United (Port Glaud) who have taken the place of PTL Bazar Brothers who have been promoted to the Premier League. The 14 teams shall compete in a single round-robin league with the Championship league winners automatically promoted to the Premier League for the 2022-2023 season. The runners-up shall play a two-legged play-off against the team who finish a place before last in the Mahé Premier League for promotion in the SFF Premier League.
Mr Delorie said all matches will be played without spectators as the health authorities have not given the SFF the go ahead for spectators to attend matches.
He said the SFF Women’s Senior League for the season 2021-2022 and the Beach Soccer Classification League 2021-2022 will both start in January 2022.
Mr Delorie added that when the SFF resumes its normal 2022-2023 league season in August 2022, it will look to include the Airtel Cup and the SFF Cup knockout competitions.
Mahé Premier League teams
Red Stars Defence Forces FC, Foresters FC, St John Bosco FC, St Louis FC, Northern Dynamo FC, PTL Bazar Brothers FC, St Michel FC and Real Maldives FC.
Inner Islands Premier League
Light Stars FC, Anse Réunion FC, Revengers FC, Santos FC, Côte d’Or FC and La Passe FC.
Glacis FC, Rovers FC, LMS United FC, Au Cap FC, Marine Maintenance FC, Tigers FC, Perseverance FC, Mont Fleuri FC, Bel Ombre FC, Beau Vallon FC, Anse Royale FC, Bel Air FC, Mont Buxton FC, West Boys United FC.