The Major Division of Colombian Professional Football (Dimayor) officialized the creation of the first women’s professional league in the country’s history. The league will have eighteen teams and will play from February to June of next year.
The formation of this tournament was the result of great performances by the Female Colombian National Team, whom without an infrastructure, managed to tie countries with outstanding women’s leagues, obtaining important victories in World Cups, Olympic Games and even participating in European football powerhouses. It’s a dream come true for the players who have long wished to be more competitive with their international rivals.
In the 2017 edition, the League will be divided into three groups of six teams each organized geographically. The top two in each group and the two best thirds will qualify for the playoffs, subsequently forming quarterfinals, semifinals and a final. Most of the games of the regular season will be played before the men’s soccer games.
Although several reports indicated that Barranquilla was going to have a team in the League, in the official presentation, Junior wasn’t present. At first, when the competition was announced, the Sharks president, Alfredo Gonzalez-Rubio, said that a female division wasn’t a priority in their plans. Later, when a rumor saying that the masculine teams that did not have a pair in the women’s league would not be able to participate in the international cups came to light, the Barranquilla team was pointed to again as one of the contenders. But at the end, when this rumor was debunked by Dimayor, the Rojiblanco board confirmed that they would not be part of the new project.
The champion of this tournament will represent Colombia at the female Libertadores Cup to be played in Brazil in September 2017, and will play a game against the Spanish champion. Also, all the players from the winning team will get a scholarship at Sergio Arboleda University in Bogotá to study a program of their choosing.
Jorge Perdomo, Dimayor’s president, mentioned that the hard work they are putting in the creation of this league might give Colombia a chance to host the Women’s World Cup in 2023. The groups and the teams playing in 2017 will be Group A: Real Cartagena, Bucaramanga, Cúcuta, Real Santander, Unión Magdalena, and Envigado. Group B: Santa Fe, Fortaleza, Equidad, Patriotas, Atlético Huila, and Deportivo Pasto. Group C: Popayán, Orsomarso, Cortuluá, Quindío, Pereira, and América.
— Nicole Regnier (@nicoleregnier11) October 14, 2016
Usme and Regniger are the first two Selección Colombia players to join a Colombian pro Team.