Myanmar National League
Founded16 May 2009; 15 years ago (16 May 2009)
First season2009
CountryMyanmar
ConfederationAFC
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toMNL-2
Domestic cup(s)Charity Cup
League cup(s)Myanmar National League Cup
International cup(s)AFC Challenge League
ASEAN Club Championship
Current championsShan United
(2023)
Most championshipsYangon United
Shan United
(5 titles)
Most appearancesDavid Htan (336)
Top goalscorerCézar Augusto (118)
TV partnersSky Net
MRTV Sports
MRTV Genius Sports, Eleven Sports, MyCujoo
Websitewww.themnl.com
Current: 2024 season

The Myanmar National League (Burmese: မြန်မာ နေရှင်နယ် လိဂ်; abbreviated MNL) is the premier national professional football league of Myanmar. In 2009, the league replaced the Myanmar Premier League, which consisted only of 14 Yangon-based football clubs, with eight professional clubs representing different regions across the nation.[1] On 16 May 2009, the league launched its inaugural two-month tournament, the Myanmar National League Cup 2009 in preparation for the first full season in 2010.[2] Despite its national ambitions, the league held the MNL Cup 2009 matches in the country's two main stadiums in Yangon due to the lack of adequate facilities elsewhere. On 5 July 2009, Yadanabon FC defeated Yangon United FC in the MNL Cup final to become the first-ever MNL Champions.

The league added three clubs for the 2010 season[3] and one more club joined for the 2011 season, bringing the total to twelve clubs.[4] Two more clubs representing the Chin and Shan States will participate in the MNL season starting in January 2012.[5]

Promotion and relegation will be added by the 2014 season as the MNL looks to expand once again.[6]

History

Origins

In the past, professional football competition in Myanmar has only existed in a limited form. All premier leagues up to this point have been made up of Yangon-based football clubs, most of which were affiliated with government Ministries. It was only after 1996, when the Premier League (Burmese: ပထမတန်း) was relaunched as the Myanmar Premier League that non-government clubs were invited to join the league. Still, the league was based only in Yangon, and never caught the imagination of Burmese football fans, who follow European football with near religious fervor.

The Myanmar Football Federation sought approval from the government to launch a nationwide league in February 2008, and finally received permission to set up private clubs in December 2008. Each club was permitted to sign at most five foreign players and one foreign coach. The government granted each club tax exemptions for an initial three-year period, while each club owner must provide a minimum initial investment of Ks.200 million (approximately US$200,000). It was expected that the annual operating cost for each club would be about Ks.500 million (US$500,000).[1] The investment apparently covers costs such as salaries, transportation and equipment, but does not include the club stadiums, which are all nationalized.[7]

Myanmar Derby

Myanmar Derby or The Classic Match of Myanmar is the matchup between Yangon United and Yadanarbon. It is the matchup that presents Myanmar football in the modern era. The name was given to the encounter of two teams due to the hype and massive atmosphere around the match. The first encounter between them happened in the 2009 MNL Cup season. On 18 June 2009, Yadanarbon and Yangon United met at Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon. Before the match, Yadanarbon was the leader in the table after 3 matches of the season while Yangon followed in second with one less point. Yadanarbon made the lead by 2–1 in the first forty-five minutes but Yangon bounced back to draw by the 2–2 result at the end. The match was full of the exciting and dramatic moments. Then, it was considered one of the most classic matches in Myanmar League history. The Yangon United versus Yadanarbon matchup was dubbed as "Myanmar Derby" ever since then.

Yangon Utd dominance

The Yangon Utd Dominance refers to the 2011 to 2013 season, which Yangon United won Myanmar National League in three consecutive seasons as the first club in the league history.

The first invincibles and consecutive titles

In 2019 season, Shan United under U Aung Naing head coach Myanmar, had become the first club in the league history that completed the season with an unbeaten record. Shan United finished at the top of the final standing with 12 wins and 10 draws. They have earned a second invincible season, this time with U Han Win Aung. They have won 15 matches and drew three. Between these two seasons, they had secured the 2020 Myanmar National League as well.

Shan Utd dominance

The Shan Utd Dominance refers to the 2019, 2020 and 2022 season, which Shan United won Myanmar National League in three consecutive seasons as the second club in the league.

Champions

(For Burmese Champions before 2009, see Myanmar Premier League)

# Year Winners Runners-up
1 2009 Yadanarbon Ayeyawady United
2 2010 Yadanarbon Zeyar Shwe Myay
3 2011 Yangon United Ayeyawady United
4 2012 Yangon United Kanbawza FC
5 2013 Yangon United Nay Pyi Taw
6 2014 Yadanarbon Yangon United
7 2015 Yangon United Yadanarbon
8 2016 Yadanarbon Yangon United
9 2017 Shan United Yangon United
10 2018 Yangon United Shan United
11 2019 Shan United Ayeyawady United
12 2020 Shan United[8] Hanthawaddy United
13 2021 Season cancelled
14 2022 Shan United Yangon United
15 2023 Shan United Yangon United

Wins by club

Club Champions Runners-up Winning Seasons Runners-up Seasons
Yangon United
5
5
2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018 2014, 2016, 2017, 2022,2023
Shan United
5
2
2017, 2019, 2020, 2022,2023 2012, 2018
Yadanarbon
4
1
2009, 2010, 2014, 2016 2015
Ayeyawady United
0
3
2009, 2011, 2019
Nay Pyi Taw
0
1
2013
Zeyar Shwe Myay
0
1
2010
Hantharwady United
0
1
2020

The Invincibles

Unbeaten champions:

Clubs

Name changes

Delta United changed their name to Ayeyawady United to represent the Ayeyawady Division. Okkthar United changed their name to Hantharwaddy United to represent the Bago Division. Mahar United changed their name to Sagaing United to represent the Sagaing Division.

Personnel and sponsoring

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

Team Head coach Captain Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
Ayeyawady United Myanmar U Myo Hlaing Win Myanmar Aung Naing Win Thailand Pro Sport
Dagon Star Myanmar U Min Tun Lin Myanmar Maung Maung Win Thailand Pro Sport
G.F.A Myanmar U KB Siang Cung Lian Myanmar Shwe Win Tun Myanmar SCM
Hanthawaddy United Myanmar U Myo Min Tun Myanmar Ko Ko Naing Myanmar SCM Myanmar Grand Royal
I.S.P.E Myanmar U Chit Naing Myanmar Aye Chan Thar Thailand FBT
Kachin United Myanmar U Kyaw Thu Aung Myint Tun Myanmar Mung Htoi Aung Myanmar Ayeyawady Sports
Mahar United Myanmar U Zaw Linn Tun Myanmar Kyaw Swar Min Myanmar M21
Myawady Myanmar U Maung Maung Aye Myanmar Wai Yan Oo Myanmar M21
Rakhine United Myanmar U Kyaw Lwin Myanmar Zaw Zaw Naing Thailand Warrix Sports Myanmar Rakhapura
Shan United Myanmar U Han Win Aung Myanmar Hein Thiha Zaw Myanmar Pro Sport Myanmar KBZ Pay
Yadanarbon Myanmar U Aung Kyaw Moe Myanmar Hein Nay San Myanmar M21 Myanmar Alpine
Yangon United Myanmar U Kyaw Dun Myanmar Yan Naing Oo Myanmar M21 Myanmar FNI

Records

See also: Football records in Myanmar

All-time top scorers

As of 31 May 2024
Myanmar League
Rank Player Period Goals Apps
1 Brazil Cezar Augusto 2012–2015, 2017 118 111
2 Myanmar Soe Min Oo 2009–2019 109 267
3 Liberia Keith Nah 2014, 2015–2016, 2019–2021 93 127
4 Myanmar Kyaw Ko Ko 2010–2019 91 182
5 Guinea Sylla Sekou 2014–2019, 2023 85 140
6 Myanmar Win Naing Soe 2015–2021 77 142
7 Ivory Coast Donald Bissa 2016, 2017, 2019–2020 64 74
8 Nigeria Charles Obi 2010–2013 58 63
9 Myanmar Yan Kyaw Htwe 2013– 51 127
10 Nigeria Christopher Chizoba 2016–2018 42 72
11 Myanmar Maung Maung Lwin 2014–2021 41 143
12 Serbia Saša Ranković 2012–2013,2014 40 70
13 Myanmar Aung Kyaw Naing 2013–2017,2018–2021 36 103
14 Myanmar Thet Naing 2009– 35 220
15 Nigeria Emmanuel Uzochukwu 2017–2021 35 61
16 Brazil Emerson 2014–2015, 2017, 2020–2021 34 78
17 Myanmar Aung Thu 2013–2020 34 131
18 North Macedonia Riste Naumov 2013, 2015 33 44
19 Myanmar Kyaw Zayar Win 2010–2013, 2014–2016 32 146
20 Myanmar Dway Ko Ko Chit 2014– 30 102
21 Myanmar Win Naing Tun 2017–2023 27 43
22 Nigeria Francis Emeka 2019–2015, 2017 25 22
23 Colombia Edison Fonseca 2014–2016 25 32

Figures for active players (in bold).

All-time appearances

As of 31 May 2024
Rank Player Position Apps Goals
1 Myanmar David Htan 2009– 336 11
2 Myanmar Zaw Min Tun 2009–2018 271 8
3 Myanmar Soe Min Oo 2009–2018 267 109
4 Myanmar Thiha Sithu 2009–2020 254 0
5 Myanmar Aung Zaw 2009–2021 252 0
6 Myanmar Yan Aung Kyaw 2009–2020 246 3
7 Myanmar Nanda Kyaw 2013– 231 22
8 Myanmar Lar Din Maw Yar 2011– 221 3
9 Myanmar Thet Naing 2009– 220 35
10 Myanmar Win Min Htut 2009–2020 210 2
11 Myanmar Thein Than Win 2009– 208 8
12 Myanmar Kyi Lin 2009–2019 189 19
13 Myanmar Khin Maung Lwin 2007–2017 187 5
14 Myanmar Kyaw Ko Ko 2010–2019 182 91
15 Myanmar Sithu Aung 2012–2023 176 22
16 Ivory Coast Kekere Moukailou 2016–2023 164 11

Figures for active players (in bold) .

Player statistics

All-time multiple hat-tricks

Rank Country Player Hat-tricks
1 Myanmar Win Naing Soe 8
2 Brazil Cezar Augusto 6
3 Cameroon Patrick Edubat 3
4 Ghana Patrick Asare 2
Cameroon Donald Bissa
Nigeria Christopher Chiboza
Colombia Edison Fonseca
Myanmar Kyaw Ko Ko
Myanmar Yan Kyaw Htwe
Uganda Joseph Mpande
Myanmar Aung Myat Thu
Myanmar Win Naing Tun
Nigeria Emmanuel Ozochukwu
Guinea Sekou Sylla
Myanmar Aung Thu
17 Several players 1

All-time clean sheets

Rank Country Player Clean sheets
1 Myanmar Kyaw Zin Phyo 43
2 Myanmar Thiha Sithu 38
3 Myanmar San Set Naing 30
4 Myanmar Van Lal Hruaia 28
5 Myanmar Ko Ko Naing 26
6 Myanmar Pyae Phyo Aung 25

All-time Assists

Rank Country Player Assists
1 Myanmar David Htan +23
2 Myanmar Nanda Kyaw +19
3 Myanmar Myat Kaung Khant +18
4 Myanmar Zaw Win Thein +16

Prize money

Awards

Top scorers

Year Nation Player Club Goal
2023 Ivory Coast Bello Shan United 13
2022 Myanmar Yan Kyaw Htwe Ayeyawady United 14
2020 Nigeria Raphael Success[9] Ayeyawady United 16
2019 Myanmar Win Naing Soe Yadanarbon 18
2018 Uganda Joseph Mpande Hanthawaddy United 18
2017 Liberia Keith Martu Nah Ayeyawady United 15
Nigeria Christopher Chizoba Shan United
2016 Myanmar Win Naing Soe Yadanarbon 16
Liberia Keith Martu Nah
Nigeria Christopher Chizoba Ayeyawady United
2015 Brazil César Augusto Yangon United 28
2014 Brazil César Augusto Yangon United 26
2013 Brazil César Augusto Yangon United 20
2012 Serbia Saša Ranković Zeya Shwe Myay 20
2011 Nigeria Charles Obi Yangon United 18
2010 Cameroon Jean-Roger Lappé-Lappé Hantharwady United 20
2009-10 Myanmar Soe Min Oo Shan United 12
2009 Myanmar Yan Paing Yadanarbon 8

Coach of the Year

Season Coach Club
2023 Myanmar Han Win Aung Shan United
2022 Myanmar U Maung Maung Aye Myawady
2020 Myanmar Aung Naing Shan United
2019 MyanmarAung Naing Shan United
2018 MyanmarMyo Min Tun Yangon United
2017 MyanmarSoe Myat Min Shan United
2016 BelgiumRené Desaeyere Yadanarbon
2015 Serbia Saric Yangon United
2014 Myanmar U Khin Maung Tint Yadanarbon
2013 Australia Eric Williams Yangon United
2012 Bulgaria Ivan Venkov Kolev Yangon United
2011 Australia Eric Williams Yangon United
2010 France Yoan Girard Yadanarbon
2009 France Yoan Girard Yadanarbon

Player of the Year

Season Player Club
2023 MyanmarThet Naing Mahar United
2022 MyanmarNanda kyaw Shan United
2020 MyanmarDavid Htan Shan United
2019 MyanmarDavid Htan Shan United
2018 MyanmarMaung Maung Lwin Yangon United
2017 MyanmarAung Thu Yadanarbon
2016 MyanmarAung Thu Yadanarbon
2015 MyanmarAung Thu Yadanarbon
2014 Myanmar Thiha Sithu Yadanarbon
2013 Brazil César Augusto Yangon United
2012 Myanmar Kyi Lin Yangon United
2011 Myanmar Kyaw Ko Ko Zayar Shwe Myay
2010 Ivory Coast Assalé Molo Hilaire Yadanarbon
2009 Myanmar Yan Paing Yadanarbon

Titles won

No Player Club Times
1 David Htan Yangon United, Shan United 8
2 Yan Aung Kyaw Yangon United 5
Kyi Lin Yangon United
Pyae Phyo Aung Yangon United
Sithu Aung Yangon United, Yadanarbon, Shan United
5 Khin Maung Lwin Yangon United 4
7 Thiha Sithu Yadanarbon, Shan United 3
Yan Aung Win Yangon United, Yadanarbon
Myo Min Tun Yangon United

Managers

Winning managers

Manager Club(s) Wins Winning years
France Yoan Yadanarbon 2 2009, 2010
Australia Eric Williams Yangon United 2011, 2013
Myanmar Aung Naing Shan United 2019, 2020,
Myanmar Han Win Aung Shan United 2022, 2023
Bulgaria Ivan Kolev Yangon United 1 2012
Serbia Sarić /
Myanmar Tin Maung Tun
Yangon United 2015
Belgium René Desaeyere Yadanarbon 2016
Myanmar Soe Myat Min Shan United 2017
Myanmar Myo Min Tun Yangon United 2018

Competition format and sponsorship

Competition

There are 12 clubs in the Myanmar League. During the course of a season, which lasts from January to October, each club plays the others twice, once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 22 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the head-to-head, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest placed teams are relegated into the MNL-2 and the top two teams from the MNL-2 are promoted in their place.

Qualification for Asian competitions

See also: Myanmar clubs in the Asian Club Championship, Myanmar clubs in the AFC Champions League, and Myanmar clubs in the AFC Cup

In the past the champions will play in AFC Champions League playoffs and AFC Cup for the champions of General Aung San Shield.

Sponsorship

The Myanmar League has been sponsored since 2009 until 2010 and has been sponsored again since 2015. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. The list below details who the sponsors have been and what they called the competition:

Period Sponsor Name
2009–2010 Grand Royal Grand Royal Myanmar National League
2010–2014 No sponsor Myanmar National League
2015–2016 Ooredoo Ooredoo Myanmar National League
2017 Max Cement Max Cement Myanmar National League
2018–2022 MPT MPT Myanmar National League
2023–2024 No sponsor Myanmar National League Youtube Channel
2024–2025 - -

Since 2013, 100PLUS has been the sponsor of Myanmar Football Federation and MNL. The sponsorship is extended to 2020 to support major football events in the country, the various football teams within the national setup, football tournaments for youth development and the local professional competitions.[10]

Match balls

Youth League

Like the reserve league, the youth league is open to all the youth teams of all professional clubs in Myanmar.

Other tournaments

Domestic tournaments
International tournaments

AFC club ranking

As of 15. 3. 2023.[11]
Current Rank Points Team
70/145 15.581 Yangon United
96/145 8.914 Shan United
124/145 5.247 Yadanarbon

Broadcasters

TV broadcasters: Sky Net, Channel 9 Myanmar, MNTV Myanmar, Sky Net Sports channels numbered 1 to 6.

Online streaming: MNL YouTube Channel, MNL-2 YouTube Channel, Genius Sports, Eleven Sports, MyCujoo, AI Soccer, Be Soccer, Sky Net DTH YouTube Channel

References

  1. ^ a b Han Oo Khin (March 9–15, 2009). "New era for football". The Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012.
  2. ^ Han Oo Khin (March 30 – April 5, 2009). "MFF announces May domestic cup competition". The Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "MNL season opens in style". Myanmar Times. 2010. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. ^ "MNL expands ahead of 2011 season launch". Myanmar Times. January 2011. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  5. ^ "၂၀၁၂ ပြိုင်ပွဲတွင် ချင်းကိုယ်စားပြု အသင်းတစ်သင်း ပါဝင် ယှဉ်ပြိုင်မည်". Soccer Myanmar. Archived from the original on 4 October 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  6. ^ "MNL TO INTRODUCE PROMOTION-RELEGATION SYSTEM BY 2014". ASEAN Football. 7 May 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  7. ^ Min Lwin (2009-04-20). "Burmese Soccer League an Election Ploy?". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
  8. ^ "2020 MNL Title won". themnl.com. 2020. Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  9. ^ "2020 Top Scorer". themnl.com. 2020. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  10. ^ "100PLUS Renews Hydration Partnership with MFF and MNL till 2020". Myanmar Business Today. Archived from the original on 2019-02-07. Retrieved 2019-02-06.
  11. ^ "AFC Football / Soccer Clubs Ranking". Archived from the original on 2019-04-02. Retrieved 2017-12-20.