HA NOI (VNS)– After much anticipation and frustration, the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) finally set a date for the start of the V-League 2013 after a meeting on Thursday in Ha Noi.
|Rivalry: SHB Da Nang and Ha Noi T&T players vie for the ball during a V-League game this year. The next season will get underway on March 2 with a match between SHB Da Nang and Xuan Thanh Sai Gon Cement at the Chi Lang Stadium. — Photo tienphong.vn
The season will get underway on March 2 with a match between defending champions SHB Da Nang and Kien Giang at the Chi Lang Stadium.
There had previously been talk of the national under-22 team competing to make up the numbers, but the abandoned slot will now be filled by Dong Nai who ranked third in the First Division tournament last year.
The VFF has also rejected a proposal from the Viet Nam Professional Football Company, the managing body of all national football leagues, that no teams should be relegated this season.
VFF said the bottom-placed team would be relegated while the three best teams from the First Division will be promoted next season to increase the number of competitors.
The national premier league will run in a two-leg round-robin format with 22 rounds and finish on August 25.
In the First Division, the number of participating teams have gone down from 14 teams to eight.
This season, only one team will be demoted from the First Division and five teams from the Second Division will be promoted. The competition will start on March 9.
The National Cup is due to start on February 24, while the Super Cup match between 2012 V-League champions SHB Da Nang and 2012 National Cup winners Sai Gon Xuan Thanh will take place on the day before.
At Thursday's conference the VFF was unable to finalise its decision on who should replace Phan Thanh Hung as national team coach after he resigned early this month due to Viet Nam's poor performances in the ASEAN Football Federation Cup.
However, the board decided to offer Hoang Van Phuc the position of interim manager.
Phuc, who will not be taking charge of the U22 team or Ha Noi FC this season, has yet to respond to the invitation. — VNS