K3 League

K3 League
Country South Korea Korea Republic
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Founded 2007 (2007)
Number of teams 18
Level on pyramid 4
Domestic cup(s) Korean FA Cup
League cup(s) Challengers Cup
Current champions FC Pocheon
Most championships FC Pocheon
(5 titles)
2016 K3 League
K3 League
Hangul K3리그
Revised Romanization K3 Rigeu
McCune–Reischauer K3 Rigŭ

The K3 League is a top amateur football competition in South Korea. Created in 2007, it is considered the fourth 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 Yongin 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 withdrew from the league due to financial problem. At the end of the 2008 season, Seoul Pabal FC was closed down because some their players were implicated in the K3 League match fixing scandal.

From the 2009 season, three new clubs registered to bring the total of competing clubs to 17.

On December 1, 2009, it was announced that Seoul Yangcheon FC, Yeonggwang FC and Chuncheon Citizen FC would join the league for the 2010 season. The top nine finishers would earn a spot in the next year's FA Cup competition. The KFA also announced that undergraduates would not be allowed to play from the 2012 season onward.

On January 15, 2010, KFA announced the league schedule for the 2010 season. Seoul Yangcheon FC postponed joining the league until 2011 season. Jeonju Ongoeul FC withdrew and is now defunct.

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

The 2013 season started with Hwaseong FC as the new team. Namyangju United FC, however, withdrew and Bucheon FC 1995 left after receiving approval to join the K-League. This left eighteen teams to contest the season.

In January 2014, on the day of the fixtures meeting, Asan United withdrew from the league with plans to return in 2015. FC Uijeongbu, formed at the end of the 2013 season as a citizens club, joined the league for the 2014. This meant that the total number of teams remained at eighteen. Another minor change to the league was made public in the week before the start of the season. The name of the league, for the 2014 season, was officially changed from Challengers League to K3 League Challengers.[1]

In January 2015, to avoid confusing with K League Challenge, the league name was changed back to K3 League.[2]

League Name History

Competition Format

In 2008 season, it operated 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, the championship playoff was abolished. Each club played the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 32 games.

The 2010 season ran 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 2016 season

The following 20 clubs will compete in the K3 League during the 2016 season.

Former clubs

Club From To Current League
Daegu Korea Powertrain 2007 2007 Defunct
Changwon United 2007 2008 (1st stage) Defunct
Seoul Pabal FC 2007 2008 Defunct
Jeonju Ongoeul FC 2008 2009 Defunct
Samcheok Shinwoo Electronics 2007 2010 Defunct
Yongin Citizen 2007 2010 Defunct
Bucheon FC 1995 2008 2012 K League
Namyangju United 2008 2012 Defunct
Asan United 2007 2013 Undecided

Previous winners

Titles By Season

Season Winners Runners-up
2007 Seoul United Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2008 Yangju Citizen Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2009 FC Pocheon Gwangju Gwangsan FC
2010 Gyeongju Citizen Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics
2011 Gyeongju Citizen Yangju Citizen
2012 FC Pocheon Chuncheon FC
2013 FC Pocheon Paju Citizen
2014 Hwaseong FC FC Pocheon
2015 FC Pocheon Gyeongju Citizen
2016 FC Pocheon Cheongju City

Titles By Club

Club Winners Runners-up
FC Pocheon 5 (2009, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016) 1 (2014)
Gyeongju Citizen 2 (2010, 2011) 1 (2015)
Yangju Citizen 1 (2008) 1 (2011)
Hwaseong FC 1 (2014)
Seoul United 1 (2007)
Hwasung Shinwoo Electronics 3 (2007, 2008, 2010)
Gwangju Gwangsan FC 1 (2009)
Chuncheon FC 1 (2012)
Paju Citizen 1 (2013)
Cheongju City 1 (2016)

Notable players

League Sponsor


See also


External links

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