Futbol

Peruvian soccer league rebrands First-Division tournament Liga 1

Lima, Jan 8 (efe-epa).- The Peruvian Soccer Federation (FPF) said the 2019 First-Division tournament will be rebranded the Liga 1 and include the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, as well as a new tournament.

The new competition, the Copa Bicentenario, is scheduled for mid-year and will include the 32 First- and Second-Division clubs.

The Apertura tournament will run from Feb. 15 to June 9 and the Clausura will be held from June 14 to Nov. 24.

The Apertura and Clausura winners will compete in the semifinals, taking on the two clubs with the most aggregate points in the standings for the yearly title.

If, however, the same team wins the Apertura and Clausura tournaments, it will automatically be crowned the national champion.

Between tournaments, the FPF will stage the Copa Bicentenaria, a competition with a field comprised of Peru's 18 First-Division clubs and 14 Second-Division clubs, with the winner earning a spot in the 2020 Copa Sudamericana, South America's secondary club competition.

The top four clubs in the Liga 1 standings will qualify for the Copa Libertadores, South America's premier club tournament, while the next three will go to the Copa Sudamericana.

If the winner of the Copa Bicentenario is in the top seven, that club's spot will go to the next team in the standings.

Liga 1 general manager Victor Villavicencio said he spoke with the professional clubs and the boards of Peru's First- and Second-Division clubs about the rebranding project.

"It's been weeks of hard work. FIFA came a few months ago to provide guidance on some points regarding the competitions. We've met with every club and with both divisions' boards, which were crucial," Villavicencio told Radio Ovacion on Monday.

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