Javier Marin, President of the Divisional along with Chiqui Tapia, President of AFA. Credit: AFA Press
The Primera Nacional, second division of Argentine soccer, has already defined its 2022 calendar with the tournament called “Malvinas Argentinas” that will have 37 dates, a direct promotion and another through a reduced one.
The draw carried out on the morning of Thursday, January 13, at the Julio Humberto Grondona property of the AFA in Ezeiza, had the participation of President Claudio Tapia and the head of the division, Marcelo Achile.
The rest of the representatives of the participating teams observed the draw through the Zoom platform.
The tournament named “Malvinas Argentinas” for the 40th anniversary of the war will begin the second weekend of February, will debut a new format with two promotions to the LPF and will feature the return of relegation.
The team that adds the most points in the 37 dates of the championship will be the champion and the first promoted to the highest category of Argentine soccer.
The second and third best classified will directly join the Reduced in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively.
From positions four to thirteen they will play the first phase where the best classified will be local and will have a sports advantage, since they will be unique matches, except for the semifinal and final, which will be roundtrip matches.
As for the relegations, for now there will be two teams that will go down to the lower categories (First B in the case of those directly affiliated and Federal A for the rest).
The possibility of reincorporating promotions where the third worst classified would play a final against the winner of a final between a team from the Federal A tournament and another from the First B tournament is still being analyzed.
Among the 37 participants in one of the most numerous tournaments in the world (surpassed, for example, by Egypt’s second division, which has 48 clubs and is played in three groups of 16) there will be four new teams: Deportivo Madryn, Chaco For Ever, Flandria and Sacachispas.
The south of the country will have two representatives with the “classic of the Gulf” between Deportivo Madryn and Guillermo Brown, which will be played on the seventh date at the stadium of the former.
Gimnasia de Jujuy heads the other end of the map of northern Argentina, which will also feature San Martín, from Tucumán; Güemes y Miter, from Santiago del Estero; and Chaco For Ever.
The Jujuy “wolf”, who descended from the First Division in 2009, was one of the beneficiaries of the draw since he will not travel to Patagonia and will receive the teams from Puerto Madryn (dates 2 and 22) in the Silver Cup.
Chaco For Ever, the only team that was not paired and will debut as a visitor on Isla Maciel against San Telmo, will have to visit Puerto Madryn twice since on date 13 they will play against Deportivo and on 31st to Guillermo Brown.
The Cuyo region will have three people from Mendoza (Independiente Rivadavia, Gimnasia and Maipú) and one from San Juan (San Martín).
Córdoba will have three teams (Belgrano, Instituto and Estudiantes de Río Cuarto) and Santa Fe, a traditionally soccer province, only has Atlético de Rafaela.
Buenos Aires brings together the largest number of teams with 22 participants but with different geographical characteristics.
In the Federal Capital there are seven: All Boys, Atlanta, Defensores de Belgrano, Ferro, Nueva Chicago, Riestra, Sacachispas.
In the province of Buenos Aires there are twelve: Almagro, Almirante Brown, Brown de Adrogué, Chacarita, Morón, Estudiantes de Buenos Aires, Flandria, Quilmes, San Telmo, Temperley, Tristán Suárez and Villa Dálmine.
And the interior of Buenos Aires has three: Agropecuario de Carlos Casares, Alvarado de Mar del Plata and Santamarina de Tandil.
In this group are also the only three clubs that were champions in the First Division: Chacarita, Ferro and Quilmes.
The long tournament will also have several classics and the most important will be on the following dates: Deportivo Madryn – G. Brown (date 7), Almagro – Estudiantes (date 13), All Boys – Chicago and Almirante – Morón (date 20), the Mendoza classic between Gimnasia and Independiente, on date 22, Chicago – Almirante (date 25), the Santiago duel between Güemes and Miter, on 26, two porteños like Atlanta – Chacarita and Riestra – Sacachispas (date 28), Chicago – Morón (date 29) and the Cordovan Belgrano and Instituto, will measure in the 30.
The candidates for this season are presumed to be Ferro and Quilmes again (they will be free on the first date).
Both reached defining instances in the previous one, and the Instituto de Córdoba will be added – it was armed with a large base of recent players in the LPF -, Belgrano de Córdoba and San Martín de Tucumán, two greats from the Interior.