V.League 1-2021: Promising a vibrant and exciting season

Friday, 2021-01-15 09:59:59
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V.League 1-2021 will feature the participation of 14 professional clubs.
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NDO – The 2021 National Football Championship, V.League 1-2021, will officially kick off with the first clash of Round 1, between Nam Dinh FC and Hanoi FC, at Thien Truong Stadium on the afternoon of January 15.

With many changes in the organisation work as well as the participating clubs’ thorough preparations, this year’s season promises an exciting and fierce title race.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, V.League 1-2021 will follow the same format as the 2020 version, but with some adjustments. The 14 professional teams will play in a round robin format in the first phase to decide the members of Group A (the title race) and Group B (the relegation race) for the second phase. However, Group A will only feature the top six teams from the first phase instead of eight as in V.League 1-2020, while there will be 1.5 relegation slots instead of just one as in the last season. Specifically, the bottom team of Group B in the second phase will be directly relegated to the 2022 First Division Tournament (V.League 2). Meanwhile, the penultimate team in Group B will qualify for a play-off match with the runners-up of the V.League 2-2021 to compete for the final place in next year’s V.League 1.

V.League 1-2021 is commencing earlier than usual as the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF) want to arrange the match schedule to suit the training and competition schedules of the national team and clubs participating in international tournaments during the year. Accordingly, the schedule of V.League 1-2021 is designed with regards to the scheduled tournaments of football’s world governing body FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The first five rounds will take place from January 15 to February 7, followed by the Lunar New Year holiday and then the next four rounds between February 19 and March 14. After a three-month break during which the Vietnamese national team continue their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign and the three clubs – Viettel FC, Hanoi FC and Saigon FC – compete in the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup arenas, V.League 1-2021 will resume with Matchday 10 fixtures and go on until the fifth round of the second phase from June 25 to August 22. Following a break for the Vietnamese team to carry on with their World Cup qualification mission, the last two second-phase matchdays of Group B will be held from September 11 to 19. The relegation play-off match is slated for September 26.

This season, V.League 1 will feature the participation of 14 professional clubs, with some having changed their names at the request of sponsors, such as Thanh Hoa FC being renamed Dong A Thanh Hoa FC, newbies Binh Dinh FC renamed as Topenland Binh Dinh FC, and Duoc Ha Nam Dinh FC returning to their previous name of Nam Dinh FC.