In the second half of the season, 14 clubs will be divided into two separate groups based on their league position. The top eight teams in Group A will compete for the title as well as second and third places, and the bottom six clubs will enter the relegation battle, after which one team will be demoted to the second-tier the following season.
This results in a difference in the number of matches that clubs in each group get to play. Clubs in Group A will play seven games while those in Group B will play five. Therefore, players competing for the Golden Ball award will not be on the same footing.
Tran Anh Tu, President of Vietnam Professional Football JSC, said: "There is also the gap between the quality of players in each group. Players from Group A clubs are more likely to face better opponents and tougher competition, making it harder for them to find the net despite having more game time."
Other club and individual prizes, including the Player, Young Player, Manager and Goal of the Season, will still be awarded.
Midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai of Hanoi FC won the Golden Ball award in 2018 and is among the nominees for the 2019 award, which has not been announced, with the celebration postponed over the Covid-19 crisis.
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