Challengers League Countries 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
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After the first stage of the 2008 season, Changwon United was withdrawn the league due to financial problem.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.
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.
Team City Stadium Founded Joined Head Coach Group A Asan United Asan, Chungnam Yisunshin Stadium 2005 2007 Bucheon FC 1995 Bucheon, Gyeonggi Bucheon Stadium 2007 2008 Gyeongju Citizen Gyeongju, Gyeongbuk Gyeongju Stadium 2008 2008 Jeonju EM Jeonju, Jeonbuk Jeonju University 2007 2007 Seoul United Seoul Metropolitan City Jamsil Stadium 2004 2007 Namyangju United Namyangju, Gyeonggi Namyangju Stadium 2008 2008 Yangju FC Yangju, Gyeonggi Yangju Stadium 2007 2007 Yeonggwang FC Yeonggwang, Jeonnam Yeonggwang Sportium 2010 2010 Group B Cheonan FC Cheonan, Chungnam Cheonan Stadium 2004 2007 Cheongju Jikji Cheongju, Chungbuk Cheongju Stadium 2008 2009 Goyang FC Goyang, Gyeonggi Goyang Stadium 2008 2008 Chuncheon FC Chuncheon, Gangwon Chuncheon Stadium 2010 2010 Gwangju Gwangsan Gwangju Metropolitan City Honam University 2008 2008 Icheon Citizen Icheon, Gyeonggi Icheon City Stadium 2009 2009 FC Pocheon Pocheon, Gyeonggi Pocheon Stadium 2008 2008 Seoul FC Martyrs Seoul Metropolitan City Kangbuk Stadium 2009 2009
Defunct former clubs
- Daegu Korea Powertrain FC (2007)
- Changwon United (2007-08 1st Stage)
- Seoul Pabal FC (2007-08)
- Jeonju Ongoeul FC (2008-09)
- Samcheok Shinwoo Electronics (2007-10)
- Yongin FC (2007-10)
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)
- Cha Gi-Suk (Gyeongju Citizen)
- Cho Hyun-Doo (Yongin FC)
- Hwang Yeon-Seok (Seoul United)
- Jang Dae-Il (Formerly of Yangju FC)
- Jung Jae-Kwon (Seoul United)
- Lee Byung-Keun (Seoul United)
- Lee Sang-Hun (Yongin FC)
- 2007: None
- 2008-: Daum
- Korean FA Cup
- Korean National League
- Korean football league system
- List of football clubs in South Korea
Group AGroup B
- K3 League official website (Korean)
- K3 League official website (English)
- K3 League at ROKfootball (English)
Former Clubs League Seasons2007 · 2008 · 2009 · 2010 · 2011 League Cup Seasons2011 Football in South Korea National Association · League system National teamsKorea Republic (result · record) · Olympic(U-23) · U-20 · U-17 League competitions Cup competitions Reserves & AcademyReserves League · University League · High School Club Challenge League · Youth League Defunct Comp.All Joseon Football Tournament (1921–1940) · Gyeongseong FC–Pyongyang FC rivalry (1929-1946) · National Football Championship (1946–2000) · Korean President's Cup (1952–2009) · Korea Football League (1964-2002) · Korea Cup (1971–1999) · Super Cup (1999–2006) List of clubs · Champions · List of venues · Foreign K-League players · Foreign Korea National League players
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