11 Vietnamese footballers punished for match fixing

By Xuan Binh   May 11, 2020 | 08:57 pm PT
11 Vietnamese footballers punished for match fixing
U21 Dong Thap players (in yellow) at the national U21 tournament 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.
The Vietnam Football Federation Monday suspended 11 players of the U21 Dong Thap team for six months to five years for match fixing.

The suspended players include midfielder Tran Cong Minh and defender Vo Minh Trong, members of the national U19 football team that qualified for the AFC U19 Championship last year. They have been fined VND 2.5 million ($107) and slapped with six-month ban from activities hosted by the federation (VFF).

Eight other players awarded the same penalties as Minh and Trong are: Nguyen Nhat Truong, Nguyen Anh Phat, Le Nhut Huy, Giang So Ny, Tran Huu Nghia, Cao Tan Hoai, Duong Vu Linh and Kha Tan Tai.

The heaviest penalty was awarded to 21-year-old Huynh Van Tien, as he was found to have initiated the match fixing and enticed other players in the team to join him. Tien was fined VND5 million and given a five-year ban from VFF football activities.

During the opening match of the U21 national qualifiers between U21 Dong Thap and U21 Vinh Long last year, 11 players of the former bet VND150 million that the game would end with two goals or less. With the final score reading 1-1, they won back their bet money and an extra VND133 million, which they split among themselves. Dong Thap later qualified for the U21 national tournament, where they reached the semifinals.

In recent years, several footballers in Vietnam have been banned for involvement in match fixing.

At the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, seven Vietnamese football players, including rising talents, were caught throwing one match. One player was sentenced to four years in jail and the others received suspended sentences.

Nine years later, several players with the Ninh Binh Football Club were banned for betting on matches in the AFC Cup.

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