I am not saying that playing in the low level leagues in Argentina is hard. Instead, merely trying to get it working properly is impossible enough. I have wasted enough hours on this. This serves as a warning for anyone brave enough to come up with a similar idea.
As we all know, FM2019 (or any other version of FM) comes with only two playable leagues in Argentina. Those who want to play amateur, semi-professional teams in regional or just low-level leagues are out of luck without the help of mods.
Well, what if we do use mods?
The problem is that the Argentina football league system is one of the more complex league systems in the world.
The following table (copied from Wikipedia) shows its current structure. What makes it different is that each club has an affiliation status, and those with different affiliation status are essentially organized in completely different ways at low level.
|Argentine football league system (2019–20)|
|Clubs directly and indirectly affiliated to AFA|
|2||Primera B Nacional
|Clubs directly affiliated to AFA||Clubs indirectly affiliated to AFA|
|3||Primera B Metropolitana
|Torneo Federal A
|Torneo Regional Federal
Approximately 3,562 teams
Another problem is that the AFA, Argentine Football Association has created a roadmap for the 5 or 6 years in the future. Each year contains some minor change in the league structure. The plan itself is also said to be ever changing, so that the modders joke that before the modder can adapt to the current plan, a new version of would already come out.
The simplest mod for Argentina is available in Steam Workshop.
This mod works well. However, it provides only 3 levels, one level more than the default, which is not much to talk about.
The trick to discover more Argentine league rule mods is to enable Spanish in Google search. I learned this trick the hard way.
Zato has a little nice mod on FMSite. He simplified the promotion/relegation rules a bit, which is all fine since I don’t really expect people to create very exact playoff rules as in real life. Not to mention the previously discovered bug, which makes me prefer anything that simply works over anything fancy but buggy.
Zato’s mod works well in my simulation until 2030.
However, someone mentioned in FMSite forum that his mod breaks in 2034, which prompted me to extend my simulation. Unfortunately, the observation is true and Zato’s mod will break at 2034. I have no idea why that year is special, but I have not debugged this.
Another mod is created by Wasaki, on the same FMSite forum. Its newest version is currently v0.7.1 and is in beta.
It contains tons and tons of lower level leagues, some of them even have their own sub-groups or sub-league-system. However, the promotion from a lower level league to a higher level league, which is in real life and one of the main reason to play a low level league club, is not finished.
Unfortunately, Wasaki later turns his attention to FM2020 and his FM19 mod is unlikely to be updated…
Wasaki’s FM2020 Mod
Which brings my attention to his FM2020 mod.
Surprisingly, FM2019 can happily accept an FM2020 mod. The game start date is still 2018, just like in a normal FM2019 game, but the league structure begins with the 2019-20 status and will evolve into what is the planned structure for 2025 and stay there.
The regional leagues are simplified a bit, but all the clubs are still there.
This actually looks fixable, because it would seem that all I need to do is to add some additional rule for the year of 2018, to ensure a smooth transition into the intended 2019 league structure, and Wasaki’s mod should carry me on.
A problem is, however, the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores, the two major South America cups, would mysteriously stop working in 2020 and 2021 due to Argentina having one fewer qualified team than expected. The problem is that the mod has not touched the international cups at all! The missing Copa Libertadores team is the one from Copa Argentina, and the missing Copa Sudamericana team is… just missing. It is expected to be the sixth best team in Superliga Argentina not qualified for Copa Libertadores, and then the game engine only selects five.
A bug I cannot see code is a bug I cannot fix. I cannot see the current rule for the international cups at all, and the mod has not touched them. That’s the end of story.
After struggling with the various mods mentioned above, and especially putting efforts in re-purporting Wasaki’s FM2020 mod for FM2019, I ended up in frustration.
If you are also consider doing similar things, stop! Buy FM2020 and use Wasaki’s mod is your best bet.