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The Cypriot second division is the second highest football league in the Cyprus football league system. The squad, managed by the Cypriot Football Association, is made up of 16 teams, with the top two in the first Cypriot league and the last four in the third Cypriot league.
The second Cypriot league started unofficially in the 1934/35 football season as the second stage of Cypriot football (Cypriot football association founded in 1934). The competition consisted of teams that did not participate in the Cypriot first league and the reserve teams of the Cypriot first league. The reserve teams were allowed to participate only players who had played with their team in the First Division no more than three internationals. The reserve teams managed to win all the titles of the unofficial period.
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The first official second division championship was held in the 1953/54 season after the unification of Cypriot football without the presence of reserve teams. As of this season, the reserve teams participated in the new Reserve Teams Championship.
Almost every team that has participated in the Cypriot First League and still participates has also participated in the Second League, with the exception of APOEL and Omonia. Pezoporikos Larnaca and Trust were also two teams that never played in the Second Division, but both no longer exist. Çetinkaya Türk also never participated in the second division, but the team retired in 1954 from the CFA. Many teams with several holdings in the first Cypriot league had also played in the second division, including AEL Limassol, Nea Salamis Famagusta, Apollo Limassol, Olympiakos Nicosia, AEK Larnaca, Enosis Neon Paralimni and EPA Larnaca.
Anorthosis Famagusta also participated in the second division in the 1945/46 season (unofficial competition), because she retired eight years earlier from the CFA and dissolved her football team. After their reform and their reintegration into the CFA they had to play in the second division to be able to rise in the first league. It was the only time since the unofficial phase of the competition that a team rose from the second division to first division.
Since the 1952/53 season, the second division took part with the exception of the 1963/64 season at the Cypriot Cup. In some seasons of the 1960s and 1970s, only the leading teams of the Second Division (sometimes only the champion) took part in the competition. In the 1975/76 season, all teams of the Cypriot second division take part in the Cypriot Cup. No second division side ever reached the final, but they managed to qualify four times for the semi-final (Nea Salamis Famagusta in 1953-54, Orfeas Nicosia in 1983-84, PAEEK in 1984-85 and AEP Paphos in the years 2005-06).
The structure of the championship has been changed several times. From 1953 to 1954 and from 1967 to 1968, the championship was divided into two or three geographical groups, from which the participating teams came. The winners of each group played against each other in the final phase of the competition and the winner was the champion of the second division.
The championship was held for the first time as a single division in the 1968/69 season. All teams played against each other twice, once at home and once away. The team with the most points at the end of the season crowned champions. This is the current format of the league. Exceptions were:
In the 1974-75 season, CFA opted for a mixed special second and third division championship due to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which forced many Northern Cyprus-based teams to be temporarily or permanently closed. At this championship all teams of the 2nd and 3rd league could participate. The participation was voluntary. The championship had two geographical groups. The winners of each group played in the final phase against each other and the winners were the champions of the league. The winner was considered the Cypriot champion of the second division 1974/75.
In the 1994/95 season, the league consisted of three rounds. In the first two rounds, all teams played against each other twice, once at home and once away. The home teams for the third round matches were determined based on their position in the table after the end of the second round.
In the seasons 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 each team played twice against each other, once at home and once away. After these games, the first four teams qualified for the Promotion Group. In the Promotion Group, each team played twice against each other, once at home and once away. The teams with the best records were promoted to the First Division. The regular season records were taken over unchanged.
In the 2013/14 season, the league was split into a two-tier system, Group B1 and Group B2, with 8 teams participating in each division. All teams (each group) played four times against each other, twice at home and twice away. The first two teams of Group B1 were promoted to Cypriot First Division, while the first two teams of Group B2 were promoted to Group B1. The last four teams of the group B1 descended into the group B2, while the last four teams of the group B2 descended into the third Cypriot league. After the season ended, however, the two groups joined together to form the Cypriot Football Association and formed a single second division. All the teams that have relegated from B1 to B2, and the teams that have moved from B2 to B1, have participated in the new, unified second division. The two groups were not at the same level as group B1 was above group B2. The second division champion this season was rated as the winner of the B1 group.
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