Challenge League

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Challenge League
Full name Challenge League
abbreviation BCL
Association Swiss Football Association
First edition 1898
hierarchy 2nd league
Teams 10
master Lausanne
Current season 2019/20

The Challenge League is the second highest division in Swiss football . has been the new title sponsor since the 2013/14 season , after Dosenbach held this position for one season for the first time in 2009 .


Earlier names

Logo during the 2008/09 season
Old logo

Former names of the second highest Swiss football league:

Number of teams

At the beginning of the Challenge League in the 2003/04 season, 17 teams played in the league. In the following years the league was increased to 18 teams. In the 2008/09 season, the number of teams was reduced to 16 to make the league more attractive.

Reform of the league for the 2012/13 season

The Swiss Football Association and its Swiss Football League department decided on November 12, 2010 to reform the Challenge League, which was confirmed on May 21, 2011.

For the 2012/13 season, the number of teams was reduced from 16 to 10, and the relegated teams played in a new, Swiss-wide third division, which at the time of its introduction was called the 1st League Promotion and is now called the Promotion League .

TV situation

In order to give the Challenge League a higher priority in Swiss football, a package of measures was drawn up in three areas in the 2007/08 season. This includes the technical operation, communication and marketing of the league. For example, for the first time in the history of the second highest Swiss league, football matches were broadcast live on television ( Swiss sports television ) and on the Internet. This was also continued in the 2008/09 season. In 2008, a main sponsor analogous to the Super League was found, which, however, left after only one season. From the 2012/13 season onwards, the pay TV broadcaster Teleclub broadcast one game live in every round (Monday 7.45 p.m.). As of the 2017/18 season , two games will be broadcast live on the pay TV channel Teleclub and on free TV on Teleclub Zoom. The two encounters take place on Friday and Monday at 8 p.m. The highlights of all games are also shown on Teleclub Zoom in the form of the program "All games, all goals".

Game operation / training league

Since the 2013/14 season, the Challenge League clubs have been allowed to use a maximum of four foreigners in their first team at the same time. The number of non-locally trained players on the match card (with a maximum of 18 places) is limited to nine. The total number of players in each club who are eligible to play in the championship (contingent list) is limited to 21 players in the Challenge League, of which a maximum of 9 players who are not locally trained. The locally trained players under the age of 21 do not count towards the mentioned quota and therefore do not have to be listed on the quota list. Players are considered locally trained - regardless of their nationality or age - if they have been registered with a club of the Swiss Football Association (SFV) for three full seasons between the ages of 15 and 21 or for 36 months .

Game mode

With the new name, a modified mode was introduced in 2003 , according to which two teams played a home and away leg within a week and the results were added up as in the UEFA Cup . The winner of this face-to-face encounter also received two points. However, after only one season this innovation was abolished.

In the Challenge League, 10 teams play against each other in the current ( 2019/20 season ). At the end of the season, the first placed will be promoted to the Raiffeisen Super League , the bottom of the table relegated to the Promotion League . The Challenge League is played in the league system and a double round. Each club meets each opponent four times, twice in front of their home crowd, twice away. In total, each club plays 36 games per season.


Challenge League (Switzerland)
FC Schaffhausen
FC Schaffhausen
FC Winterthur
FC Winterthur
FC Chiasso
FC Chiasso
FC Wil
FC Wil
SC Kriens
SC Kriens
Grasshopper Club Zurich
Grasshopper Club Zurich
FC Aarau
FC Aarau
FC Thun
FC Thun
Neuchâtel Xamax
Neuchâtel Xamax
The teams' venues in the 2020/21 season

The following 10 teams will play in the Challenge League in the 2020/21 season :

team Trainer Stadion capacity Placement season 2019/20
FC Aarau FC Aarau SwissSwiss Stephan Keller Brügglifeld Stadium 08,000 8th.
FC Chiasso FC Chiasso ItalianItalian Alessandro Lupi Stadio Comunale Riva IV 05,000 10th, no relegation
SC Kriens SC Kriens SwissSwiss Bruno Berner Kleinfeld Stadium 05,100 4th
FC Stade Lausanne-Ouchy FC Stade Lausanne-Ouchy SwissSwiss Andrea Binotto Center sportif de Colovray ( Nyon ) 04,200 7th
FC Schaffhausen FC Schaffhausen SwissSwiss Murat Yakin LIPO Park Schaffhausen 08,085 9.
Grasshopper Club Zurich FC Thun SwissSwiss Marc Schneider Stockhorn Arena 10,398 9. Super League , relegated
FC Wil FC Wil SwissSwiss Ciriaco Sforza IPG Arena 06,010 6th
FC Winterthur FC Winterthur GermanGerman Ralf Loose Schützenwiese stadium 09'450 5.
Grasshopper Club Zurich Grasshopper Club Zurich PortuguesePortuguese João Carlos Pereira Letzigrund 26,104 3.
Neuchâtel Xamax Neuchâtel Xamax SwissSwiss Stéphane Henchoz Stade de la Maladière 12,000 10. Super League , relegated

Promoted to the Super League

year Climbers Barrage participant Barrage result
2004 FC Schaffhausen FC Vaduz lost (0: 2, 2: 1) against Neuchâtel Xamax
2005 Yverdon-Sport FC FC Vaduz lost (1: 1, 0: 1) against FC Schaffhausen
2006 FC Luzern FC Sion promoted (0-0, 3-0) against Neuchâtel Xamax
2007 Neuchâtel Xamax AC Bellinzona lost (1: 2, 1: 3) against FC Aarau
2008 FC Vaduz AC Bellinzona promoted (3: 2, 2: 0) against FC St. Gallen
2009 FC St. Gallen FC Lugano lost (1: 0, 0: 5) against FC Luzern
2010 FC Thun FC Lugano lost (1: 2, 0: 0) against AC Bellinzona
2011 FC Lausanne Sports Servette FC promoted (0: 1, 3: 1) against AC Bellinzona
2012 FC St. Gallen FC Aarau lost (0: 3, 1: 0) against FC Sion
2013 FC Aarau no barrage
2014 FC Vaduz no barrage
2015 FC Lugano no barrage
2016 FC Lausanne Sports no barrage
2017 FC Zurich no barrage
2018 Neuchâtel Xamax no barrage
2019 Servette FC FC Aarau lost (4: 0, 0: 4 n.v., 4: 5 p. E.) against Neuchâtel Xamax
2020 FC Lausanne Sports FC Vaduz promoted (2: 0, 3: 4) against FC Thun

Web links

supporting documents

  1. Dosenbach takes over the naming of the Challenge League  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 317 kB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  2. ^ Swiss Football League: "Challenge League will be reduced" , media release of May 21, 2011
  3. Swiss Football League: Challenge League on the offensive - for the first time a football game from the second highest league on television at the same time , media release from February 12, 2008
  4. TV situation from 2017/18
  5. Teleclub Zoom - Teleclub's free TV channel - also via web player. Retrieved August 9, 2017 .
  6. REGULATIONS FOR THE GAME OPERATION OF THE SFL ( Memento from August 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )