Mandel United replaces Lierse Kempenzonen in first national …

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On Thursday, Mandel United was told by the Royal Belgian Football Association (RBFA) and the amateur wings Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF that it will take the place of Lierse Kempenzonen in the first national next season. The West Flemish football club was preferred over RAAL and Bocholt.


Mandel United ended in second place last season in the second amateur A after fellow provincial FC Knokke. A line was drawn under the competition after 24 match days, so that the team from Izegem was unable to use its promotion opportunities in the canceled final round. Because Lierse Kempenzonen was promoted to 1B after the decisions of the Pro League last week, Mandel United, which in the first place already received its license for the first national, is promoted to the highest amateur league with Knokke.

La Louvière (RAAL) and Bocholt also had the first amateur license in their pocket and were looking for the vacant spot, but are therefore not successful. Because of the number of points and victories Mandel United was the best second with a license of all second amateur clubs. “We have not reached the promotion in a sporty way, but will not pass up the gift – due to the many licensing problems and disputes,” the club says on its website. “In recent months, our club has of course suffered considerable financial damage like so many amateur clubs. The first objective remains to ensure our future and to survive financially. Since March there has been no income and of course our sponsors are also being reorganized due to the current economic situation. There is now a new objective: try to achieve conservation in the first national in 2020-2021. ”

Mandel United will no longer make many investments in the players’ core. “Our most important basis will be the strong and powerful youth organization”, it sounds. The West Flemish hope to receive spectators again soon. “Otherwise we will not start the competition”, said the club, which also lashes out at the Pro League. “He has a little respectful attitude towards amateur football, both financially and in terms of content. We regret, for example, that no time slot can be kept free by the professional clubs for the league matches in amateur football. ”

Bad blood

The decision to have Mandel United promoted is bad blood at RAAL, which had set its sights on the place in first national. “Our club has always taken a coherent and respectful stance since its re-establishment in 2017. For example, we have always kept the public interest first in the fight against the coronavirus. Sportingly, we had every interest in the competition continuing last season. Although the title and promotion were still playable through the final round, we accepted the forced competition stop ”, RAAL said in a press release. The team from La Louvière ended after 24 completed match days with 46 points in third place behind Frans Borains (52) and Meux (48).

But the club feels wronged now that the promotion goes to Mandel United via the green table. “That place in the first national belongs to RAAL. If the Pro League had immediately opted for an 18-team 1A three months ago, there was no doubt about it. The promotion of Seraing and RWDM to 1B, two clubs affiliated with the ACFF, presupposes at least one French-speaking PhD student. There was only one team in the second national ACFF that met the promotion conditions, namely RAAL (Francs Borains already promoted directly, ed.) ”, It sounds.

RAAL also claimed to have had better sporting results last season, although it admits that it is difficult to compare different series. The Hainaut club was in favor of continuing with 18 teams (including Mandel United, Bochelt and RAAL) in the first national, but that scenario was not retained. RAAL is still studying how to challenge the decision of the working group of Voetbal Vlaanderen and ACFF. “We will take all necessary steps to safeguard our rights,” concludes the Hainaut amateur club.

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