Football Tribe SEA Editor
The gradual return of football amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues as Vietnam’s very own V.League 1 has announced its restart date. The top flight of Vietnamese football will resume action from its third round on June 5th, with current leaders Ho Chi Minh City FC visiting Lach Tray Stadium to take on hosts Hai Phong FC.
The resumption of the league will also see a change in format, from the usual double round-robin format to a format that’s similar to the ones implemented in the South Korean K-League, the Israeli Premier League, and Scotland’s Scottish Premiership. After the first half of the season is played, the league will split into two groups – the top 8 teams will fight it out for the title, while the bottom 6 teams will try their best to avoid relegation. Each group will play a single set of round-robin matches, effectively creating a Championship Group and a Relegation Group.
According to the Secretary General of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Le Hoai Anh, the league will try its best to have all 134 games being played out this season, this includes the 14 games that were already played on March before the league’s suspension. Only one team will be relegated this season – the 14th placed team. The promotion/relegation play-off between the 13th placed team and the runners-up of the V.League 2 will be abolished, with the V.League 2 champions receiving the one and only promotion slot. V.League 1 teams will also be allowed to use 5 substitutions in one game instead of the usual 3, while a limited number of spectators will be allowed into the stadium.
The Vietnamese National Cup is also set to resume on May 23rd, retaining its single knock-out format. 25 matches will be played in 5 rounds, culminating in the final on October 31st.