Vitória de Setúbal and Desportivo das Aves have been forcefully relegated down to the Campeonato de Portugal, the third tier of Portuguese football, after failing to present the necessary requirements for professional registration ahead of the 2020/21 season.

The decision, imposed by Liga Portugal’s Supervisory Board, forbids both sides from competing at a professional level, hence the drop to the third division, although Vitória and Aves can still appeal the decision.

Liga Portugal’s verdict comes just days after Vitória avoided relegation to the second division, the LigaPro, on the last day of the Liga NOS season with a 2-0 home win over Belenenses, sending Portimonense down a tier instead.

Aves, on the other hand, were already set for relegation after finishing last in the Primeira Liga table, with financial troubles likely to plunge the club further down the footballing pyramid.

As a result of the punishment, both clubs are now expected to commence the 2020/21 season in the Campeonato de Portugal, maintaining Portimonense’s status as a top-flight club and pushing Cova da Piedade, as well as Casa Pia, back into the second division.

Both Vitória and Aves have three days to appeal the decision imposed upon them.

By Patrick Ribeiro

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