The Myanmar National League (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. On 16 May 2009, the league launched its inaugural two-month tournament, Myanmar National League Cup 2009 in preparation for the first full season in 2010. Despite its national ambitions, the league held the MNL Cup 2009 matches in the country's two main stadiums in Yangon due to 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 Champion.
The league has added three clubs for the 2010 season, bringing the total to eleven clubs.
Professional football competition in Myanmar has existed only in a limited form. All premier leagues up to this point are made up of Yangon-based football clubs, most of which are outfits of government Ministries. It was only after 1996, when the Premier League (Template:Lang-my) was relaunched as 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 will be permitted to sign at most five foreign players and one foreign coach. The government has granted each club tax exemptions for an initial three-year period, while each club owner must provide a minimum of K200 million (approximately US$200,000) for initial investment. It is expected that the annual operating cost for each club will be about K500 million (US$500,000). The investment apparently covers costs such as salaries, transportation and equipment, but does not include the clubs stadiums, which are all nationalized.
The league started out with eight clubs but has expanded to eleven clubs, starting in the 2010 season. One more club, Rakhapura United shall join MNL starting in 2011 MNL season starting on 15 January 2011.