New German third division field decided
Former Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf heads the 20-team field in a new-look third German football division for which the final teams qualified on Saturday, the dpa reported.
Four relegated teams from the second division and eight teams each from the formerly regionally divided third tier form the new semi- professional division.
The so-called 3. Liga (third league) is run by the German football federation DFB and not the nation's football league (DFL) which is in charge of the professional first and second Bundesliga divisions.
The aim of the new strengthened third tier is to give young talents better opportunities to rise in the nation's football system.
Other clubs apart from the former European Cup Winners' Cup finalists Dusseldorf include Kickers Offenbach and Eintracht Braunschweig as well as the b-teams from Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen and VfB Stuttgart.