Tiers – Primera División & Primera B.
Cup Competitions – None.
Other Competitions – None.
Chilean football may not be as well-known throughout the world as that of Brazil and Argentina, but their leagues have a reasonably good record of producing talent. However, unlike many of the other South American nations, it is not always a particularly fun place to base your FM career, largely due to the overly complex nature of the domestic league format (particularly in the Primera División). Even if you find that you can accept the way the league is played, it’s unlikely that you will be able to attract any star players to your team (even if you could afford them) and the majority of your homegrown talent will undoubtedly leave for the richer pastures of the larger South American footballing nations or perhaps Europe (and more often than not they’ll do it for very small fees).
As with many leagues in South America, Chile splits it’s season into an Opening and a Closing stage, each having 19 games. However, unlike the other leagues, the Chilean Primera División splits its clubs into four groups of five teams, which are used for qualification purposes. The top-two teams from each of these ’sub-divisions’ qualify for the Quarter Final stage (with the exception of the team who are ranked as the worst qualifier in the overall league table, they must face a play-off against the best-placed non-qualifying team). These eight teams then play each other in a two-legged knock-out tournament with the eventual winner being crowned champion of the relevant stage. The team that sits at the top of the overall league table at the end of both stages is considered the Chilean champion (though in terms of status it is deemed better to have won one of the stages).
In terms of the relegation system, the two teams finishing at the bottom of the overall table drop into Primera B while the teams finishing in 17th and 18th place respectively face a play-off group against two sides from Primera B for their top flight status. This group follows the standard Chilean rules and pits each team against the other three home and away, making a total of six matches for each side. The top-two clubs win a place in the Primera División for the following season while the other two clubs have to settle for Primera B football.
Teams are awarded the standard three points for a win and one for a draw, with teams that are tied on points being separated using the following methods:
* Goal difference;
* Goals scored;
* Away goals scored.
Chile has two transfer windows; the first running for almost the entire length of January, while the second runs from the first Saturday of June to the final Saturday of July. The Chilean FA imposes no restriction on the number of foreign players you can buy, but only four may be named among the match-day squad of sixteen players (you may use three of the five substitutes).
Players will be hit with a one-match ban after being shown an initial five yellow cards. They will receive a another one-match ban for each subsequent set of three yellow cards. Red cards carry the usual one-match ban depending on the offence.
The format of Primera B is a little simpler than that of the Primera División, though it relies on group stages once more (what’s wrong with simple league formats?). The First Stage sees twelve teams play each other twice following the same rules as the Primera División (except for the transfer window which is almost six weeks longer). Once this initial batch of 22 fixtures is completed the top eight teams continue to the Second Stage, while the other four face a Relegation Stage. The Second Stage once again pits each of the sides against it’s rivals twice over the course of fourteen matches. At the end of this stage the winner is crowned Primera B champion and, along with the second-placed team, wins the right to play in the Primera División. The teams finishing third and fourth respectively enter the Play-off with the Primera División clubs outlined earlier.
Primera B’s Relegation Stage allows the four poorest teams in the division a chance of survival. These teams play each other twice more and the club finishing at the bottom of this mini-league is relegated.