One team declared not to participate at all, while two matches have been postponed – the Macedonian top flight start this weekend with a bitter beginning.
photo by FK Rabotnichki Skopje: a duel at the July friendly against Bregalnica
Instead of 12 team the 1.MFL this season will have 11 as there was no time anyone to take the place of Renova, club who decided to stop competing on senior level and will only exist in the youth leagues.
So, instead of 6 matches the Round 1 was supposed to feature 5. However, both Shkupi and Shkendija asked for their matches to be postponed due to their Thursday’s participation in the European leagues. FFM accepted their request and moved their matches for other dates, leaving the Round 1 with only 3 matches this opening weekend.
Shkendija’s home match against Skopje got rescheduled for the 17th, a week and a half after the original date. Shkendija’s justification is that on Friday the came home from Stockholm where they faced AIK in the Europa Conference League and next Thursday they have the return leg in Skopje. They could have played the domestic match on Monday, like it is usually done in many other (serious) leagues, but ok.
Shkupi’s away match against Tikvesh was moved to, believe it or not, a whole month from the original date – on 7 September! It is true that Shkupi had a bad traveling experience to the far away Ireland, where they lost 3:1 to Shamrock Rovers, and they also have a return leg in Skopje not on Thursday but on Tuesday, as bot they and Shkendija have only one option where to host their opponents – the Toshe Proeski arena. Additionally, even in Shkupi gets eliminated, they will be relegated into the Europa Conference League, meaning two more midweek matches. That’s the reason why their match was moved for a whole month.
Today the 1.MFL will be opened with the match Struga – Pobeda at the Gradska plazha stadium in Struga, a town on the shores of the Lake Ohrid. The match will be broadcasted live on MRT1 and Arena 5 with a kick-off at 17.30 CET.
On Sunday will take place the other two matches Sileks – Rabotnichki (MRT1 & Arena 5) and Akademija Pandev – Bregalnica (Sportklub 2), also at 17.30 CET.