It's official: the First Iberdrola It will start on the weekend of October 3 and 4. The Management Commission of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has approved the advancement of the Spanish Women's League, once the CSD has given the green light to the health protocol to be able to start the competitions, and after reaching an agreement with the participating clubs.
This season the League goes from having 16 to 18 teams, while there will be four relegations instead of the usual two.
For his part, Iberdrola Challenge, which is the second division of women's football, changes its format to adapt to the calendar and starts on the weekend of October 17 and 18.
New competition rules
New competition rules have also been approved due to the health protocol derived from covid-19. So, changes that can be made to a match are raised to 5 (before there were 4) and they expand the number of players with a mandatory professional card. In this way, in the First Division there will be a minimum of 14 (compared to the previous 12) and in Reto Iberdrola a minimum of 6 (compared to the previous 4).
Regarding the Iberdrola Challenge format, the two existing groups (North and South) are divided into two subgroups each, of 8 and 9 teams, respectively, applying the criterion of geographical proximity. Subgroups A (of 8 teams) will play a total of 14 games in 14 days and subgroups B (of 9 teams) will play 16 games in 18 days.
Likewise, the competition will be played in two phases, a first in the regular league and a second with specific stages. In the second, each of the North and South groups, the best four of each subgroup will form a new group or subgroup for promotion (8 teams), which will compete for the title of Group Champion.
The relegation subgroup, formed by the rest, will fight for permanence in Second Division. The promotion and relegation subgroups will face off against those who did not compete in the First Phase. To determine the promotion or descents, the classification of the First Phase will be dragged by coefficients.
It should also be remembered that Rayo Vallecano, due to its situation of not having started training due to the pandemic and the risks of contagion, would begin the competition on October 18. In this way, the delayed days would be disputed by the Vallecas team in the weeks in which there was a stoppage for the Champions League.