Football: Polish league to introduce play-off system

The Polish league champions will be decided by a play-off system next season, competition organisers Ekstraklasa said Friday.

As of the 2013/14 campaign, the 16 top-flight sides will play 30 games on the usual home-and-away basis, after which the top eight will qualify for the play-offs to decide the champions and the bottom eight will play-off to avoid relegation.

"We decided to launch this project which has a great chance of improving the level of competition, and it's from next season," said Ekstraklasa president Boguslaw Biszof.

"I want a league where we fight in every match, where every match is interesting for the fans and which gives the players and coaches the opportunity to improve," he added in an interview with PAP agency.

The new season is due to begin on July 13 and finish in late May - slightly earlier if Poland qualify for the World Cup.

The current league system is a conventional one in which the 16 teams play each other home and away with the winner being decided by who finishes top after 30 matches.

Although play-off systems are common in American sports and rugby, no major European league uses one to determine who wins the title.