Challengers League

Challengers League
Countries South Korea Korea Republic
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Founded 2007
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 3
Promotion to National League (no promotion)
Relegation to None
Domestic cup(s) Korean FA Cup
League cup(s) Challengers Cup
Current champions Gyeongju Citizen
2011 Challengers League
Challengers League
Hangul 챌린저스리그
Revised Romanization Challengers League
McCune–Reischauer Challengers Rigŭ

The Challengers League is a top amateur football competition in South Korea. Created in 2007, it is the third tier of South Korean football league system



2007 was the inaugural season of the K3 League, and ten teams competed in the competition.

The season operated a two-stage system, with each side playing each other once in each stage for a combined total of eighteen matches (nine in each stage). The winners of both stages, Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics FC and Seoul United respectively, plus the two teams with the best overall record from both stages, Cheonan FC and Yong-in FC, entered the championship playoffs. Seoul United emerged victorious in the championship playoffs, defeating Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics FC 3–0 on aggregate. The four playoff teams earned a spot in the 2008 FA Cup competition.

Seven new clubs registered ahead of the 2008 season with just one of the founder members, Daegu Korea Powertrain, withdrawing from the league set-up.

After the first stage of the 2008 season, Changwon United was withdrawn the league due to financial problem. At the end of the 2008 season, Seoul Pabal FC was closed because some players of Seoul Pabal FC were implicated in the K3 League match fixing scandal.

From the 2009 season, 17 clubs competed the league due to three new clubs registered.

On December 1, 2009, Korea Football Association announced that Seoul Yangcheon FC, Yeonggwang FC and Chuncheon Citizen FC would join the league for the 2010. And, KFA has also announced that an undergraduate never play the league game from the 2012 season and top nine teams of league earned a spot in next year FA Cup competition. On January 15, 2010, KFA announced the league schedule in the 2010 season. Seoul Yangcheon FC is postponed joining the league to the 2011 season. And, Jeonju Ongoeul FC is defunct from the 2010 season.

K3 League was renamed as the Challengers League prior to the start of the 2011 season.

Competition Format

In 2008 season, it operates its season in two stages, with the winners of each stage and the two runners-up advancing to the post-season championship playoffs. If in the event of the same team winning both stages, there will be no playoff.

In 2009 season, championship playoff was abolished. Each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 32 games.

The 2010 season runs from March 13 through October 30. The 16 teams in the league are divided into the Group A and Group B — eight in the Group A, eight in the Group B. Each team competes against the other team in same group twice, home and away, the other group's team once, home or away, for a total of 22 games. The two group winners and two runners-up qualify to the Championship playoff.

Members for 2011 season

The following 16 clubs will compete in the Challengers League during the 2011 season.

Defunct former clubs

Previous winners

Titles By Season

Season Winners Runners-up
2007 Seoul United Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2008 Yangju FC Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2009 Pocheon FC Gwangju Gwangsan
2010 Gyeongju Citizen Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2011 Gyeongju Citizen Yangju FC

Titles By Club

Club Winners Runners-up
Gyeongju Citizen 2 (2010, 2011)
Yangju FC 1 (2008) 1 (2011)
Seoul United 1 (2007)
Pocheon FC 1 (2009)
Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics 3 (2007, 2008, 2010)
Gwangju Gwangsan 1 (2009)

Notable players

League Sponsor

  • 2007: None
  • 2008-: Daum


See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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