V.League 1

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V.League 1
Logo giai Vleague .jpg
Founded 1980; 38 years ago (1980) (semiprofessional)
2000; 18 years ago (2000) (officially)
First season 1980
Country Vietnam Vietnam
Confederation AFC
Number of teams 14 (since 2015)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to Red Arrow Down.svg V.League 2
Domestic cup(s) Vietnamese Cup
Vietnamese Super Cup
International cup(s) AFC Champions League
Mekong Club Championship
Current champions Quảng Nam (1st title)
Most championships Thể Công (5 titles)
Top goalscorer Vietnam Hoàng Vũ Samson (139 goals)
TV partners VTV, VTC, VTVCab, K+, BTV, ON SPORTS, HTV, VOV, FPT Play, Onme
Website www.vnleague.com
2018 V.League 1

V.League 1 or Vietnamese: Giải bóng đá vô địch quốc gia Việt Nam, previously called Toyota V.League 1, since 2018 it has been referred to as Nuti Café V.League 1 for sponsorship reasons. It is the top professional football league in Vietnam controlled by the Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company. It is contested by 14 clubs who play each other on a home and away basis. The team finishing at the top at the end of the season is crowned the champion and enters the AFC Champions League.

The league was founded in 1980 as the All Vietnam Football Championship, with Tổng Cục Đường Sắt emerging as the first winner. Thể Công is the most successful club in the league's history, having won the title five times. The league turned professional in the 2000–2001 season, which allowed clubs to hire foreign players. Vietnam Professional Football (VPF) was established in 2012, and the organising power was transferred from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) to VPF.


Foundation and early days

The V-League 1, as it is known today, dates back to 1980 when the first semi-professional league was launched (then known as the All Vietnam Football Championship). Seventeen clubs participated in the competition which was split into three groups and conducted more like a cup competition, with the winner from each group qualifying for the Championship Stage. Công An Hà Nội, Tổng Cục Đường Sắt and Hải Quan were the three teams to qualify, with Tổng Cục Đường Sắt ultimately taking the title. That format, although the teams were split into two groups, continued until 1995 when the league reverted to a more traditional league format.

Turning professional

League football in Vietnam would turn professional in the 2000–2001 season, which saw the league change its name to its current moniker, V-League 1. In that inaugural V-League 1 season there were only ten clubs, with tighter restrictions meaning fewer teams. Over the next decade the league grew from 10 teams to the current fourteen, with the team that finishes on top of the table qualifying for the AFC Champions League. Clubs were allowed to hire foreign players from this season on.

VPF establishment

Following a season marred by accusations of refereeing corruption and a cover-up by the V.League governing body Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), six clubs (Đồng Tâm Long An, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Hanoi ACB, Vissai Ninh Bình, Khatoco Khánh Hòa and Lam Sơn Thanh Hóa[1]) threatened to leave the league and form an entirely new league for the 2012 season. The most out spoken club in the move was Hanoi ACB, who were going through relegation from the V.League, with its chairman Nguyen Duc Kien announcing that ACB would spearhead the move. Due to the controversy, league sponsor EximBank expressed its intention to drop its title sponsorship of the league. League officials scrambled to resolve the issues, going as far as hiring foreign referees for the 2012 season.[2][3] After a meeting on 29 September, representatives of the VFF and the 14 V.League 1 teams and 14 V.League 2 teams announced the formation of a new corporation, the VPF, Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company to manage the V-League. The VFF would hold a 36% stake in the new corporation, and the rest would be held by clubs.[1]

From the 2012 season, the organising power was transferred from the VFF to the VPF (Vietnamese Professional Football), and the V.League 1 was initially changed to the Super League, although this name was short-lived and the league was renamed back to V.League 1 later in the season. The first division was renamed the V.League 2. At the same time, many clubs found themselves in financial and sponsor issues, and many clubs withdrew, merge, bought another or failed to meet requirements for leagues. As a result, the number of clubs in each league changed dramatically.

Competition format

  • The V.League 1 season starts in January and ends in September. In each season, each club plays each of the other clubs twice, once at home and another away, for a total of 26 games.
  • Teams are ranked by total points, head-to-head, goal difference and goals scored.
  • Top team qualifies for AFC Champions League Prelim. Stage 2.
  • For 2010 season, two bottom teams are relegated to the Vietnam First Division while third lowest placed team goes to play-off with the third highest placed team from the First Division.[4]
  • Starting in the 2013 season, the number of clubs participating in the V.League 1 would be decreased from fourteen to twelve after three clubs failed to register. Also in the same season, the bottom team will be relegated to the First Division while the top three teams from the First Division will be promoted into the V-League 1.[5]
  • Starting in the 2015 season, the league is competed by 14 teams.[6]


Since the 2000–2001 season, the V.League 1 has been branded with a principal sponsor's name and logo. The following companies have acted as principal sponsors:[7]


2013 controversy

After Xuân Thành Sài Gòn was docked points for what the VFF deemed the club unsportsman like conduct when the club fielded a noncompetitive squad for their Matchday 20 meeting with Sông Lam Nghệ An, club officials announced that the club would withdraw from the league. On 22 August 2013, the VFF approved Xuân Thành Sài Gòn's withdrawal request. Matches where the club was involved were vacated. The VFF is still debating if the last place club will still be relegated to V.League 2, though the league charter states that the club in 12th place would be the only club relegated in the 2013 campaign.[8]

Relegation was cancelled for the 2013 campaign after Xuân Thành Sài Gòn withdrew from the V.League 1 before the conclusion of the season.[9] QNK Quảng Nam, Than Quảng Ninh and Hùng Vương An Giang, as winners, first runners-up and second runners-up respectively, were promoted from the 2013 V.League 2 season. Kienlongbank Kiên Giang failed to apply for the 2014 campaign and subsequently folded during the offseason.[10]

2014 Match-fixing scandal

Vissai Ninh Bình F.C. wrote to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and to the Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company to be allowed to stop their participation in the league and also the AFC Cup due to 13 players being involved in match fixing. They had played eight league matches and were third from bottom at the time.[11] Following their withdrawal from the league, all their results were declared null and void.[12]

Rule Changes, due to the match fixing scandal and withdrawal of Vissai Ninh Bình F.C., it was decided that the bottom-placed team at the end of the season will take part in a play-off match against the third-placed team in the First Division for the right to play in the V-League next season.[13]



Clubs competing in 2018 season:

Club Based Home stadium Capacity First season
in V.League
Becamex Bình Dương Thủ Dầu Một Gò Đậu Stadium 25,000 2004 Vietnam Nguyễn Thanh Sơn
Cần Thơ Cần Thơ Cần Thơ Stadium 50,000 2015 Vietnam Nguyễn Thanh Danh
FLC Thanh Hóa Thanh Hóa Thanh Hóa Stadium 11,000 2010 Vietnam Hoàng Thanh Tùng
Sài Gòn F.C. Hồ Chí Minh City Thống Nhất Stadium 18,000 2016 Vietnam Nguyễn Đức Thắng
Hà Nội F.C. Hà Nội Hàng Đẫy Stadium 25,000 2008 Vietnam Chu Đình Nghiêm
Hồ Chí Minh City F.C. Hồ Chí Minh City Thống Nhất Stadium 18,000 2000 Vietnam Lư Đình Tuấn
Hải Phòng Hải Phòng Lạch Tray Stadium 30,000 2000 Vietnam Trương Việt Hoàng
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Pleiku Pleiku Stadium 12,000 2003 Vietnam Nguyễn Quốc Tuấn
Nam Định Nam Định Thiên Trường Stadium 25,000 2003 Vietnam Ngô Quang Sang
QNK Quảng Nam Tam Kỳ Tam Kỳ Stadium 15,624 2014 Vietnam Hoàng Văn Phúc
Sanna Khánh Hòa Nha Trang 19/8 Nha Trang Stadium 11,000 2015 Vietnam Võ Đình Tân
SHB Đà Nẵng Đà Nẵng Hòa Xuân Stadium 25,000 2001 Vietnam Lê Huỳnh Đức
Sông Lam Nghệ An Vinh Vinh Stadium 18,000 2000 Vietnam Ngô Quang Trường
Than Quảng Ninh Cẩm Phả Cẩm Phả Stadium 15,000 2014 Vietnam Phan Thanh Hùng


Primary venues used in the 2017 V.League 1:

Becamex Bình Dương Sài Gòn F.C. Long An Hồ Chí Minh City Hà Nội T&T
Gò Đậu Stadium Thống Nhất Stadium Long An Stadium Thống Nhất Stadium Hàng Đẫy Stadium
Capacity: 18,250 Capacity: 25,000 Capacity: 19,975 Capacity: 23,000 Capacity: 25,000
SVĐ Gò Đậu.JPG Thống Nhất Stadium.JPG Thống Nhất Stadium.JPG Sân vận động Hàng Đẫy.jpg
Hải Phòng Hoàng Anh Gia Lai QNK Quảng Nam Sanna Khánh Hòa BVN SHB Đà Nẵng
Lạch Tray Stadium Pleiku Stadium Tam Kỳ Stadium 19/8 Nha Trang Stadium Hòa Xuân Stadium
Capacity: 28,000 Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 15,624 Capacity: 25,000 Capacity: 20,500
NhaTrangStd.png Hoa Xuan Stadium.jpg
Sông Lam Nghệ An Than Quảng Ninh FLC Thanh Hóa XSKT Cần Thơ Nam Định
Vinh Stadium Cẩm Phả Stadium Thanh Hóa Stadium Cần Thơ Stadium Thiên Trường Stadium
Capacity: 18,000 Capacity: 15,000 Capacity: 14,000 Capacity: 45,000 capacity :25,000
Sân vận động Vinh 8.JPG


Since turning professional in 2000, V.League 1 attendances vary between 5,000-10,000. The most recent season, V-League 2017, the average attendance was 5,592.


Rules on foreign players

Clubs are only allowed to register three foreign players per season.[14] In prior seasons, clubs were allowed to register two foreign players.

Starting from 2015 season, the number of foreign players allowed by clubs is reduced to 2 players plus 1 naturalised player.

Top scorers by season

Season[7] Name Club Goals
1980 Vietnam Lê Văn Đặng Công an Hà Nội 10
1981–82 Vietnam Võ Thành Sơn Sở Công Nghiệp 15
1982–83 Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Cường CLB Quân Đội 22
1984 Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Dũng Công nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh 15
1985 Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Dũng Công nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh 15
1986 Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Dũng
Vietnam Nguyễn Minh Huy
Công nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh
Hải Quan
1987–88 Vietnam Lưu Tấn Liêm Hải Quan 15
1989 Vietnam Hà Vương Ngầu Nại Cảng Sài Gòn 10
1990 Vietnam Nguyễn Hồng Sơn CLB Quân Đội 10
1991 Vietnam Hà Vương Ngầu Nại Cảng Sài Gòn 10
1992 Vietnam Trần Minh Toàn Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng 6
1993–94 Vietnam Nguyễn Công Long
Vietnam Bùi Sĩ Thành
Bình Định
Long An
1995 Vietnam Trần Minh Chiến Công an Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 14
1996 Vietnam Lê Huỳnh Đức Công an Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 25
1997 Vietnam Lê Huỳnh Đức Công an Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 16
1998 Vietnam Nguyễn Văn Dũng Nam Định 17
Vietnam Vũ Minh Hiếu Công an Hà Nội 8
1999–2000 Vietnam Văn Sỹ Thủy Sông Lam Nghệ An 14
2000–01 Vietnam Đặng Đạo Khánh Hòa 11
2001–02 Vietnam Hồ Văn Lợi Cảng Sài Gòn 9
2003 Nigeria Emeka Achilefu Nam Định 11
2004 Nigeria Amaobi Uzowuru Nam Định 15
2005 Brazil Kesley Alves Becamex Bình Dương 21
2006 Brazil Elenildo de Jesus Thép Miền Nam Cảng Sài Gòn 18
2007 Brazil Jose Emidio de Almeida SHB Đà Nẵng 16
2008 Brazil Jose Emidio de Almeida SHB Đà Nẵng 23
2009 Argentina Gastón Merlo
Brazil Lazaro de Souza
SHB Đà Nẵng
Quân khu 4
2010 Argentina Gastón Merlo SHB Đà Nẵng 19
2011 Argentina Gastón Merlo SHB Đà Nẵng 22
2012 Nigeria Timothy Anjembe Hà Nội 17
2013 Argentina Gonzalo Damian Marronkle
Vietnam Hoàng Vũ Samson
Hà Nội T&T 14
2014 Vietnam Hoàng Vũ Samson Hà Nội T&T 23
2015 Democratic Republic of the Congo Patiyo Tambwe QNK Quảng Nam 18
2016 Argentina Gastón Merlo SHB Đà Nẵng 24
2017 Vietnam Nguyễn Anh Đức Becamex Bình Dương 17


Previous winners by season

The following is a historical list of champions and runners-up of the V.League 1 by season. Superscripts in brackets (such as (2)) indicate a repeat win.

Season[7] Champion Runner-up Third Place
1980 Tổng Cục Đường Sắt Công An Hà Nội Hải Quan
1981–82 Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội Quân Khu Thủ đô Công An Hà Nội
1982–83 Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội (2) Hải Quan Cảng Hải Phòng
1984 Công An Hà Nội Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội Sở Công Nghiệp
1985 Công Nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh Sở Công Nghiệp Cảng Sài Gòn
1986 Cảng Sài Gòn Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội Hải Quan
1987–88 Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội (3) Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng An Giang
1989 Đồng Tháp Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội Công An Hà Nội
1990 Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội (4) Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng Hải Quan
1991 Hải Quan Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng Cảng Sài Gòn
1992 Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng Công An Hải Phòng Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội
1993–94 Cảng Sài Gòn (2) Công An Thành Phố Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội
1995 Công An Thành Phố Huế F.C. Cảng Sài Gòn
1996 Đồng Tháp (2) Công An Thành Phố Sông Lam Nghệ An
1997 Cảng Sài Gòn (3) Sông Lam Nghệ An Thể Công
1998 Câu Lạc Bộ Quân Đội (5) Sông Lam Nghệ An Công An Thành Phố
1999–2000 Sông Lam Nghệ An Công An Thành Phố Công An Hà Nội FC
2000–01 Sông Lam Nghệ An (2) ĐPM Nam Định FC Thể Công
2001–02 Cảng Sài Gòn (4) Công An Thành Phố Sông Lam Nghệ An
2003 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An ĐPM Nam Định FC
2004 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (2) ĐPM Nam Định FC Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An
2005 Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An SHB Đà Nẵng FC Becamex Bình Dương FC
2006 Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An (2) Becamex Bình Dương FC Boss Bình Định F.C.
2007 Becamex Bình Dương FC Gach Đồng Tâm Long An Hoàng Anh Gia Lai
2008 Becamex Bình Dương FC (2) Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An Xi Măng Hải Phòng FC
2009 SHB Đà Nẵng FC (2) Becamex Bình Dương FC Sông Lam Nghệ An
2010 Hà Nội F.C. Hải Phòng F.C. Đồng Tháp F.C.
2011 Sông Lam Nghệ An (3) Hà Nội F.C. SHB Đà Nẵng
2012 SHB Đà Nẵng (3) Hà Nội F.C. Sài Gòn Xuân Thành
2013 Hà Nội F.C. (2) Hoàng Anh Gia Lai SHB Đà Nẵng
2014 Becamex Bình Dương (3) Hà Nội F.C. Thanh Hóa
2015 Becamex Bình Dương (4) Hà Nội F.C. Thanh Hóa
2016 Hà Nội F.C. (3) Hải Phòng SHB Đà Nẵng
2017 Quảng Nam F.C. (1) FLC Thanh Hóa F.C. Hà Nội F.C.

Top-performing clubs

No. of championships[7] Clubs
5 Thể Công
4 Becamex Bình Dương FC, Cảng Sài Gòn
3 Hà Nội F.C., Sông Lam Nghệ An, SHB Đà Nẵng FC[nb 2]
2 Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Gạch Đồng Tâm Long An, Đồng Tháp
1 Hải Quan, Công Nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh, Công An Hà Nội, Tổng Cục Đường Sắt, Công An Thành Phố, Quảng Nam

See also


  1. ^ In response to recent allegations of corruption in the Vietnam Football Federation, Eximbank were reportedly "considering canceling their sponsorship" of the V-League, effective the 2012 season. "6 clubs want to leave V-League, set up own league". tuoitrenews.vn. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Won title as Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng in 1992". danangfc.vn. 
  1. ^ a b "Historic change: Company to run Vietnam football". 
  2. ^ "6 clubs want to leave V-League, set up own league". Tuổi Trẻ. 10 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "3 football referees suspended for dishonesty". Tuổi Trẻ. Retrieved 29 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "V-League 2010 Regulations (Vietnamese)" (pdf). 
  5. ^ "No-relegation V-League a crazy idea: insiders". Tuổi Trẻ News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "V-League to be fully frofit driven in two years; increase to 14 teams by 2012". aseanfootball.org. ASEAN Football Federation. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 13 September 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d http://www.vnleague.com/vdqg-vleague/lich-thi-dau/
  8. ^ "Saigon Xuan Thanh withdraws from V-League". Vietnam Net. 23 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Saigon Xuan Thanh withdraws from V-League". VietnamNet.vn. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  10. ^ "V-League 2014 kick off slated for mid-January". VietnamNet.vn. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013. 
  11. ^ "AFC to Monitor Vietnam Match-Fixing Issue". aseanfootball.org. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "Ninh Bình Quit V-League but Not AFC Cup". aseanfootball.org. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "Organisers adjust V-League after Ninh Bình withdrawal". english.vietnamnet.vn. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  14. ^ "VFF promotes local league talent". Vietnam Net. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Vietnam Football Federation
  • League at FIFA
  • League at soccerway.com
  • RSSSF.com – Vietnam – List of Champions
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