The
Belgian Second Division is the second-highest
division in the Belgian football league system after the
Belgian First
Division. It was created by the
Belgian Football Association in
1905. It is
sponsored by
commercial broadcaster Euro1080
(who have a television channel called EXQI), and is therefore
officially known as the
EXQI League.
History
The second division was created in 1905 as the
Promotion. From 1923 on there were two
leagues in that division (called
Promotion A and
Promotion B). In 1926, the system changed with only one
league (14 clubs) at the second-highest level now called
Division I. At the end of the 1930-31
season, the Division I was split into two leagues (of 14 clubs
each). The last two teams of each league were relegated and the two
top clubs promoted each year to the Premier Division. In 1952, the
division was renamed to
Division II with 16 teams (one
league). The first two clubs qualified for the first division. In
1974, the first final round was played to access the top level.
Finally, in 1994, the second division was played between 18 clubs.
A win earns
three points
since the 1993-94 season.
In the season 2008-09, the second division has been played between
19 teams following the Namur - Geel case (both teams claiming their
rights to access the second division).
Competition format and naming
Competition
The season comprises the regular season (18 teams, 34 matchdays)
and the play-offs (a qualifying round and a
final round).
The regular season is a double
round-robin tournament played between
August and May, with an interruption of 3 weeks in the winter. It
is divided into three periods: the first 10 rounds of matches, the
next 12, and the final 12. The winner of the overall regular season
is
promoted to the
first division. The teams with the
best record in each of the 3 blocks go into the play-offs
qualifying round, together with the second placed team in the
overall ranking of the second division. Two clubs from the
qualifying round qualify to play the final round, joined by the
15th and 16th of the first division. The final round is a double
round-robin, with the winner earning a place in the first
division.
The standings, for both the regular season and the 3 blocks, are
determined by the following criteria, in order:
- number of points;
- number of wins;
- goal-average
- a play-off at a neutral venue (with extra
time and penalty
shootout if necessary)
A team cannot play in the first division unless it has a
professional license.
If it does not have its license, it is replaced if possible, by the
next highest team in the overall regular seaon rankings. For the
automatic promotion spot (as opposed to the play-offs) the team
must have finished in the top three clubs. When no team meets those
conditions, the number of teams in the first division
decreases.
The two lowest-placed teams go to the
third division (which is divided into
2 leagues of 16 clubs), while the two champions of that division
are promoted to the second division. Furthermore, the 15th and
16th-placed teams play the
third
division playoff with 6 teams from the third division but they
enter the competition on its second round. The winner of this
playoff stays or promotes to second division.
Naming
- 1905-1926: Promotion
- 1926-1952: Division I
- 1952-2008: Division II
- 2008-present: EXQI League
Clubs
Members for 2009-10
The 19 participating clubs for the 2009-10 season are the
following:
Past winners
References