New Zealand Football have today confirmed the details of the upcoming 2020/2021 national men’s and women’s football and futsal competitions.
The ISPS Handa Premiership will return from mid-November 2020, marking the 17th year of the men’s national league in its current format. The National Women’s League will start in late October 2020. The Men’s Futsal SuperLeague and Women’s Futsal SuperLeague will start in late October 2020 and February 2021 respectively.
NZF General Manager of Football Daniel Farrow said:
“It has taken a lot of work with our clubs and federations to get to this stage but we are excited to now be able to confirm initial details of our national competitions for the upcoming season.
“While Covid-19 and the knock-on effect of shifting community football dates has had an impact on the length of competitions and, in the case of the ISPS Handa Premiership, the number of teams able to take part, running men’s, women’s and futsal national league competitions this year was a key priority and we are very pleased to be able to make that happen.
“We also want to acknowledge the support of Sport NZ and our on-going partnership with Trillian Trust as key contributors to staging competitions this season.”
The ISPS Handa Premiership will consist of a double round robin league, followed by a semi-final and grand final. The 14 round season will run from mid-November 2020 with the grand final scheduled for late March 2021. Exact dates for the competition will be released after the international football calendar is confirmed.
For this season, Tasman United and Southern United will join with Canterbury United Dragons to form a united South Island team, under the Canterbury United Dragons banner. The team will play home games in Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson. Reigning champions Auckland City FC, Waitakere United, Eastern Suburbs, Hamilton Wanderers, Hawke’s Bay United, Team Wellington and Wellington Phoenix FC will make up the remaining clubs in the eight-team competition.
The 2020/2021 league season was scheduled to see the introduction of a promotion and relegation framework under the ‘National League Moving Forward’ competitions review released in November 2019, however, following the impact of Covid-19, these plans have been postponed and will be reviewed ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign.
Paula Walker, Chair of National League (Mens) Stakeholder Group said:
“All our clubs are excited to be kicking off in November considering earlier in the year we didn’t know what the world would look like, the impact on all levels of the game, and, what the national league season would be.
“We want to thank all the sponsors and communities who have supported the clubs during this time and encourage fans to get out there to back their team when the league returns.
“We also want to acknowledge the contribution that the players, coaches and staff at Tasman United and Southern United have made to the competition. I’m sure it was a difficult decision for them not to take part this year but sustainability of football in this country in the long term has to be the priority. I look forward to seeing them again in future seasons.”
The National Women’s League will, following consultation and feedback from stakeholders including players, federations and clubs, consist of a single round robin followed by a grand final on the weekend of 19 December. The season will run from the weekend of 31 October and feature teams representing each of the seven football federations: Northern Lights, Auckland, WaiBoP, Central, Capital, reigning champions Canterbury United Pride and Southern United.
The Men’s Futsal SuperLeague will run 31 October – 22 November across three weekends: Southern Travel Series in Wellington, Northern Travel Series in Hamilton and the National Series in Auckland. The competition will feature eight teams from across the seven football federations: AAF Futsal, Bay of Plenty Surge, Canterbury United Futsal Dragons, Capital Futsal, Central Futsal, Northern Comets, Southern United Futsal and 2019/2020 champions Waikato Rapids.
The Women’s Futsal SuperLeague will run from February 2021 featuring teams from across the seven football federations.
Further details on all competitions will be released in due course.
Article added: Wednesday 29 July 2020