K League Challenge

K League Challenge
Country South Korea
Confederation AFC
Founded 2013
Number of teams 11
Level on pyramid 2
Promotion to K League Classic
Domestic cup(s) FA Cup
Current champions Ansan Mugunghwa
Most championships Sangju Sangmu (2)
TV partners SPOTV
Website Official website
2017 K League Challenge

The K League Challenge is a South Korean professional league for association football clubs. Being the second tier of the South Korean football league system, it is currently contested by eleven clubs, and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the K League Classic.


In 2011 the original K League announced a plan to begin a promotion and relegation system between the K League and a proposed second division.[1] The K League then took steps to create the new second division, mainly with the addition of a split-system during the 2012 K-League season in which the bottom clubs are placed in a competition for safety with the last placed club being relegated to the new second division (originally it was going to be two clubs relegated but the withdrawal of Sangju Sangmu FC meant only one would be relegated).[2][3]

On 3 January 2013 the official name of the Second Division was announced as the K League while the original K League was changed to K League Classic along with the new logo.[4] This name change caused some degree of confusion and controversy,[5] and on 11 March 2013 the official name was changed to K League Challenge.[6]


Club Hometown Stadium First season in
the second flight
Current spell in
the second flight
FC Anyang Anyang, Gyeonggi Province Anyang Stadium 2013 2013–
Bucheon FC 1995 Bucheon, Gyeonggi Province Bucheon Stadium 2013 2013–
Busan IPark Busan Busan Asiad Stadium 2016 2016–
Daejeon Citizen Daejeon Daejeon World Cup Stadium 2014 2016–
Gyeongnam FC South Gyeongsang Province Changwon Football Center 2015 2015–
Seongnam FC Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province Tancheon Stadium 2017 2017–
Seoul E-Land FC Seoul Seoul Olympic Stadium 2015 2015–
Suwon FC Suwon Suwon Stadium 2013 2017–


Titles by season

Season Champions Runners-up Third place
2013 Sangju Sangmu Police FC Gwangju FC
2014 Daejeon Citizen Ansan Police Gangwon FC
2015 Sangju Sangmu Daegu FC Suwon FC
2016 Ansan Mugunghwa Daegu FC Bucheon FC 1995

* Bold designates the promoted club;
‡ Won the Promotion-Relegation Playoffs;
† Lost the Promotion-Relegation Playoffs;

Titles by club

Club Champions Winning seasons Runners-up Runners-up seasons
Sangju Sangmu
2013, 2015
Ansan Mugunghwa
2013, 2014
Daejeon Citizen
Daegu FC
2015, 2016

See also


  1. Richards, Dave. "Korea, England: closer football ties". Korea Joongang Daily. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. "K리그 31~44라운드, 상주 없이 그대로 진행".
  3. "K League confirm promotion-relegation system". SportsSpying. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  4. "K League News". K-League. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  5. "위원석의 하프타임 'K리그'에 새로운 이름을 붙여주자" (in Korean). The Daily Sports Seoul. February 19, 2013.
  6. "'K리그 챌린지' 프로축구 2부리그 새 이름으로 이번 주말 스타트!" (in Korean). K League Official Website. March 11, 2013.

External links

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