Portuguese football league system

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The Portuguese football league system consists of several leagues bound together hierarchically by promotion and relegation. Reserve teams are allowed to compete in the main league system, as is the case with most of Europe. However, they are not allowed to compete in the same tier as their senior team, thus no reserve team has ever competed in Portugal's top flight, the Primeira Liga.

Men's league system[edit]

The Portuguese men's football league system consists of three national divisions and up to four district leagues (depending on the district).

National leagues[edit]

All three national divisions provide access to the Portuguese Cup. The first two leagues are operated by the Portuguese Professional Football League, and they also guarantee participation in the Portuguese League Cup. Lastly, the third division is divided in four leagues and is the only division operated by the Portuguese Football Federation.

Level League(s)/Division(s)
1

Primeira Liga
18 clubs

↓↑ 2 clubs
2

LigaPro
18 clubs

↓↑ 2 clubs
3

Campeonato de Portugal Serie A
18 clubs

Campeonato de Portugal Serie B
18 clubs

Campeonato de Portugal Serie C
18 clubs

Campeonato de Portugal Serie D
18 clubs

↓↑ 20 clubs

District leagues[edit]

District leagues are operated by 22 District Associations: 18 from each district, plus 1 from Madeira Islands, and 3 from Azores Islands (west, center and east islands groups). The winner of each district league is promoted to the third national tier, the Campeonato de Portugal. Moreover, all district leagues provide access to their correspondent district cup, and the winner of the district cup, along with the second-placed team in the district league, is allowed to participate in the next season's Portuguese Cup. The number of clubs at the bottom tier of each association depends on the number of clubs interested in participating.

District Association Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 7
Porto FA

Elite Pro-National
36 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Division of Honour
32 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

First Division
32 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Second Division 34 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Lisbon FA

Pro-National
16 clubs

Division of Honour
32 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

First Division
32 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Aveiro FA

Elite
18 clubs

First Division
18 clubs

Second Division 38 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Braga FA

Pro-National
18 clubs

Division of Honour
32 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

First Division 44 clubs (Series A,B and C)

Algarve FA

First Division
12 clubs

Second Division 18 clubs

Beja FA

First Division
11 clubs

Second Division 17 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Coimbra FA

Division of Honour
16 clubs

First Division 20 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Évora FA

Elite Division
14 clubs

Division of Honour 13 clubs

Guarda FA

First Division
14 clubs

Second Division 8 clubs

Leiria FA

Campeonato Lizsport
16 clubs

First Division 26 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Madeira FA

Division of Honour
12 clubs

First Division 7 clubs

Santarém FA

First Division
14 clubs

Second Division 19 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Setúbal FA

First Division
16 clubs

Second Division 18 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Viana do Castelo FA

First Division
16 clubs

Second Division 18 clubs

Viseu FA

Division of Honour
16 clubs

First Division 25 clubs (Series 1 and 2)

Angra do Heroísmo FA

Azores Championship
10 clubs

Graciosa Championship

3 clubs

São Jorge Championship

4 clubs

Terceira Championship

5 clubs

Horta FA

Horta Championship 5 clubs

Ponta Delgada FA

São Miguel Championship 9 clubs

Bragança FA

Division of Honour 12 clubs

Castelo Branco FA

Division of Honour 10 clubs

Portalegre FA

First Division 9 clubs

Vila Real FA

Division of Honour 18 clubs

See also[edit]


External links[edit]