|Number of teams||14 (since 2015)|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||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||Hoàng Vũ Samson (139 goals)|
|TV partners||VTV, VTC, VTVCab, K+, HTV, SCTV, VOV, FPT Group|
|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 have 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.
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 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. 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 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.
- 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:
- 2000–02: Strata Sport Marketing (Strata V-League)
- 2003: PepsiCo (Sting V-League)
- 2004: Kinh Đô (Kinh Đô V-League)
- 2005: Tan Hiep Phat (Number One V-League)
- 2006: Eurowindow (Eurowindow V-League)
- 2007–10: PetroVietnam Gas (PetroVietnam Gas V-League)
- 2011–14: Eximbank (Eximbank V.League 1)[nb 1]
- 2015–17: Toyota (Toyota V.League 1)
- 2018-20: Nutifood (NutiCafe V.League 1)
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.
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 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. Following their withdrawal from the league, all their results were declared null and void.
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.
Clubs competing in 2017 season:
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|
|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|
|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|
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. 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
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.
|No. of championships||Clubs|
|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|
- 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.
- "Won title as Công Nhân Quảng Nam Đà Nẵng in 1992". danangfc.vn.
- "Historic change: Company to run Vietnam football".
- "6 clubs want to leave V-League, set up own league". Tuổi Trẻ. 10 September 2011.
- "3 football referees suspended for dishonesty". Tuổi Trẻ. 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.
- "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.