V.League 1 (Vietnamese: Giải Bóng đá Vô Địch Quốc Gia Việt Nam), also called LS V.League 1 due to sponsorship reasons, 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.
|Founded||1955 (A Class)|
1980 (A1 Class)
|First season||1955 (as Football Cup of Peace)|
|Number of teams||14|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||V.League 2|
|Domestic cup(s)||Vietnamese Cup|
Vietnamese Super Cup
|International cup(s)||AFC Champions League|
ASEAN Club Championship
|Current champions||Thể Công / Viettel (19th) |
|Most championships||Thể Công / Viettel (19 titles)|
|Top goalscorer||Hoàng Vũ Samson (200 goals)|
|TV partners||VTV (2 matches/ round)|
VTVCab (all matches)
HTV (all matches)
ON SPORTS (all matches)
Onme (all matches)
Hà Tĩnh Television (only Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh matches)
Bình Dương Television (BTV2) (only Becamex Bình Dương matches)
K+ (all matches)
|Current: 2021 V.League 1|
The league was founded in 1955 with the winner was Thể Công. In 1980 as the All Vietnam Football Championship, with Tổng Cục Đường Sắt emerging as the winner. Thể Công is the most successful club in the league's history, having won the title 19 times. Including pre-1980 era, Thể Công has 19 titles. 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 Vietnam Professional Football Jointstock Company (VPF).
Foundation and early daysEdit
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.
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.
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) threatened to leave the league and form an entirely new league for the 2012 season. The most outspoken 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. 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.
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.
- The V.League 1 season starts in February/March 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 Group Stage.
- 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.
- 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.
- Starting in the 2015 season, the league is competed by 14 teams.
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:
|2000–2002||Strata Sport Marketing||Strata V-League|
|2004||Kinh Do||Kinh Do V-League|
|2005||Tan Hiep Phat||Tan Hiep Phat V-League|
|2007–2010||PetroVietnam Gas||PetroVietnam Gas V-League|
|2011–2014||Eximbank||Eximbank V.League 1[nb 1]|
|2015–2017||Toyota||Toyota V.League 1|
|2018||NutiFood||NutiCafe V.League 1|
|2019||Masan||Wake-up 247 V.League 1|
|2020–present||LS Group||LS V.League 1|
After Xuân Thành Sài Gòn was docked points for what the VFF deemed the club unsportsmanlike 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.
Relegation was cancelled for the 2013 campaign after Xuân Thành Sài Gòn withdrew from the V.League 1 before the conclusion of the season. 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.
2014 match-fixing scandalEdit
Vissai Ninh Bình 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. Following their withdrawal from the league, all their results were declared null and void.
Due to the match fixing scandal and withdrawal of Vissai Ninh Bình, 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.
Fourteen clubs compete in the V.League 1’s, with one coming from the V.League 2’s previous season:
|2020 position||Last title|
|Becamex Binh Duong||Binh Duong||6th||2015|
|Dong A Thanh Hoa||Thanh Hoa||11th||–|
|Hoang Anh Gia Lai||Gia Lai||7th||2004|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Ho Chi Minh City||5th||2001–02|
|Hong Linh Ha Tinh||Ha Tinh||8th||–|
|Nam Dinh||Nam Dinh||13th||1985|
|Saigon||Ho Chi Minh City||3rd||–|
|SHB Da Nang||Da Nang||9th||2012|
|Song Lam Nghe An||Nghe An||10th||2011|
|Than Quang Ninh||Quang Ninh||4th||–|
|Topenland Binh Dinh||Binh Dinh||1st (VL2)||–|
Primary venues used in the 2020 V.League 1:
|Becamex Bình Dương||Sài Gòn||Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh||TP Hồ Chí Minh||Hà Nội|
|Gò Đậu Stadium||Thống Nhất Stadium||Hà Tĩnh Stadium||Thống Nhất Stadium||Hàng Đẫy Stadium|
|Capacity: 18,250||Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 20,000||Capacity: 25,000||Capacity: 25,000|
|Hải Phòng||Hoàng Anh Gia Lai||Quảng Nam||SHB Đà Nẵng||Sông Lam Nghệ An|
|Lạch Tray Stadium||Pleiku Stadium||Tam Kỳ Stadium||Hòa Xuân Stadium||Vinh Stadium|
|Capacity: 28,000||Capacity: 12,000||Capacity: 15,624||Capacity: 20,500||Capacity: 18,000|
|Than Quảng Ninh||Thanh Hóa||Viettel||Nam Định|
|Cẩm Phả Stadium||Thanh Hóa Stadium||Hàng Đẫy Stadium||Thiên Trường Stadium|
|Capacity: 15,000||Capacity: 14,000||Capacity: 25,000||capacity :25,000|
Rules on foreign playersEdit
Clubs are only allowed to register three foreign players per season. 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 seasonEdit
List of championsEdit
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.
|No. of championships||Clubs|
|4||Becamex Bình Dương, Cảng Sài Gòn , Sông Lam Nghệ An|
|3||SHB Đà Nẵng, Công an Hà Nội|
|2||Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Long An, Đồng Tháp|
|1||Hải Quan, Công nghiệp Hà Nam Ninh, , Tổng cục Đường sắt, Công an Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Quảng Nam|
Boldface indicates clubs playing in 2020 season
|1||Nguyễn Hồng Sơn||1988–2005||Thể Công 401, Công Nhân Bia Đỏ 29||430|
|2||Nguyễn Thế Anh||1966–1984||Thể Công 412||412|
|3||Đặng Phương Nam||1992–2007||Thể Công 388||388|
|4||Phan Văn Tài Em||2002–2011||Long An 305, Navibank Sài Gòn 44, Xuân Thành Sài Gòn 27||376|
|5||Nguyễn Anh Đức||2006–2019||Đông Á Bank 9, Becamex Bình Dương 355||364|
|6||Phạm Thành Lương||2005-||Hà Nội ACB 144, Hà Nội 161||305|
|7||Dương Hồng Sơn||1998–2015||Sông Lam Nghệ An 206, Hà Nội 95||301|
|8||Nguyễn Cao Cường||1970–1989||Thể Công 301||301|
|9||Nguyễn Minh Phương||1998–2015||Cảng Sài Gòn 95, Long An 171, SHB Đà Nẵng 38,||294|
|10||Thạch Bảo Khanh||1998-2014||Thể Công 233, Lam Sơn Thanh Hoá 24, Hà Nội 32||289|
|11||Lê Tấn Tài||2003-||Sanna Khánh Hòa BVN 164, Hải Phòng 11, Becamex Bình Dương 93, Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh 6, Hà Nội 9||283|
Boldface indicates a player still active in the V.League 1.
All-time top scorersEdit-
|Player||Period||Clubs (mostly known as)||Goals|
|1||Hoàng Vũ Samson||2007–||Đồng Tháp, Hà Nội, Quảng Nam, Thanh Hóa||200|
|2||Đỗ Merlo||2009–||SHB Đà Nẵng, Nam Định||136|
|3||Nguyễn Anh Đức||2005–2019||Đông Á Bank, Becamex Bình Dương||123|
|4||Lê Công Vinh||2004–2016||Sông Lam Nghệ An, Hà Nội T&T, Hà Nội 1956, Becamex Bình Dương||118|
|5||Nguyễn Văn Quyết||2011–||Hà Nội||114|
|6||Huỳnh Kesley Alves||2003–2019||Becamex Bình Dương, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, Sài Gòn Xuân Thành, Sanna Khánh Hòa BVN, Hồ Chí Minh City||113|
|7||Antonio Carlos||2003–2015||Long An||94|
|8||Gonzalo Marronkle||2009–2017||Hà Nội||81|
|9||Lê Huỳnh Đức||1995–2007||Hồ Chí Minh City Police, SHB Đà Nẵng||79|
|10||Timothy Anjembe||2009–2015||Hòa Phát Hà Nội, Hà Nội ACB, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai||79|
|11||Jose Emidio de Almeida||2006–2014||SHB Đà Nẵng||71|
Boldface indicates a player still active in the V.League 1.
In addition to the V-League, there is also a reserve youth League for U-19 players, with the aim to improve the quality of V-League and to become the future seeds for the clubs and national team themselves.
- 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. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Historic change: Company to run Vietnam football". Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 31 October 2011.
- "6 clubs want to leave V-League, set up own league". Tuổi Trẻ. 10 September 2011. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "3 football referees suspended for dishonesty". Tuổi Trẻ. Archived from the original on 8 December 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "V-League 2010 Regulations (Vietnamese)" (pdf).
- "No-relegation V-League a crazy idea: insiders". Tuổi Trẻ News. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "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.
- "LS Holdings to sponsor V.League 1 and V.League 2 in 2020". Vietnamnet Global. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
- "V.Leagues sign three year sponsorship deal". vietnamnews.vn. Retrieved 25 December 2020.
- "Saigon Xuan Thanh withdraws from V-League". Vietnam Net. 23 August 2013.
- "Saigon Xuan Thanh withdraws from V-League". VietnamNet.vn. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "V-League 2014 kick off slated for mid-January". VietnamNet.vn. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "AFC to Monitor Vietnam Match-Fixing Issue". aseanfootball.org. 12 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Ninh Bình Quit V-League but Not AFC Cup". aseanfootball.org. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "Organisers adjust V-League after Ninh Bình withdrawal". english.vietnamnet.vn. 17 April 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
- "VFF promotes local league talent". Vietnam Net. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Thành Long vô địch giải U19 toàn quốc năm 2008
- Than Quảng Ninh vô địch giải bóng đá lứa tuổi 19 QG-Cúp Sơn Kova 2010
- VCK giải b.đá lứa tuổi 19 QG - Cúp Sơn Kova 2012: TĐCS Đồng Tháp lên ngôi vô địch