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New format

From next season the Liga Orangina, the equivalent of England’s Coca-Cola Championship, will boast 22 clubs as opposed to the present 16.

In the interest of the national game the Portuguese league committee has decided to allow Porto, Benfica, Sporting Lisbon, Braga, Guimaraes and Maritimo to field ‘B’ teams principally made up of players aged between 16 and 23 years of age who have been registered in this country for a minimum of three years.

Following the initial phase the six extra places will be decided upon by the normal system of promotion gained from lower leagues.

The move has come following the drastic increase in foreign players at most clubs which has seen top sides such as Benfica taking to the pitch devoid of any national talent.