Doha: The Qatar Second Division football league will start from September 20, with five teams Mesaimeer, Al Shahaniya, Al Wakrah, Al Shamal and Muaither taking part in the competition.
On the opening day, Shahaniya meet Mesaimeer while Shamal will clash with Muaithar, the Qatar Football Association announced the schedule here on Wednesday.
The winners qualify to the QNB Qatar Stars League (QSL) while runner-up team play a playoff with the 11-placed QSL side.
Meanwhile, the QFA will also be hosting an Under-23 league championship from this season, with all 12 QSL clubs will compete in the new event.
The QFA has been organising five leagues from U-13 to U-19, but the national players’ progression was affected all these years as they joined their clubs’ first teams after that and several of them often ended up as reserves.
A strong group of U-23 players is important for Qatar, especially when the country looks to build a strong side in time for the 2022 World Cup.
The QFA will allow a club to register 23 players each for its U-23 and senior teams.
A maximum of three senior-team players under the age of 23 will be allowed to play. It has also been made mandatory for every club to make sure one U-23 player stays on the pitch throughout the 90 minutes of QSL games.