FFM today brought a decision regarding the interrupted season in the top two leagues. The top flight will continue playing with a reduced scheduled, while that won’t be the case with the two second league groups. The Cup will be finished as well.
photo by FK Rabotnicki Skopje: moment of 1.MFL match between Rabotnicki and Akademija Pandev
The 2019/20 season in the 1.MFL will eventually continue. After two meetings last week with the ten teams that compete this season, a decision was reached as the majority voted for continuation of the current season. This was first approved by the Macedonian ministry of health who gave a green light but under special rules that must be followed in all matches.
FFM gave the teams 3 proposed scenarios of which the last was ‘Season end’ with the other two involving play-off and play-out. The majority opted for the proposal #2 according to which the remaining 4 rounds of the 3rd cycle will be played, but will be followed by play-off group involving the top 6 teams and a play-out group involving the last 4 teams instead of the last 4th cycle. That means 4 less matches for the top 6 teams and 6 less for the bottom 4. Also, there will be no relegation this season.
The weird decision for the play-out group, according to FFM is made only for one reason. Since there won’t be relegation, those four clubs will have nothing to play for. However, since two of the semifinalists of the Macedonian Cup are teams who have good chances of finishing the that group, it has been done this way only for them to remain in playing shape for the Cup. Those two teams are Akademija Pandev and Struga.
It was decided that the Macedonian Cup will also be concluded, with a minor change. The remaining semifinals will be played, but instead in home and away legs, there will only be one leg, probably on neutral ground. Same as the final.
The teams will get back in training shortly, while the season is set to restart during the weekend of 13/14 or 20/21 June. The calendar is yet to be done.
Unlike the top flight, FFM decided the two second league groups not to continue, proclaiming end of the season. It is yet to be decided regarding promotion and relegation, but rumors say that current top-placed Pelister (West) and Belasica (East) will be awarded promotion. That will trigger a big revolt among the other promotion contenders who will be cut short of their chance.
FFM requested all lower leagues not to continue the season as well. Since FFM organizes only the top two flights, the third, fourth and fifth league are lead by other bodies and it’s up to them to decide the future of this season.
The Macedonian season in all competitions went into lock down on 12 March with a decision by FFM on a request of the Ministry of health because of the COVID-19 pandemic.