Aggressive showdown sees Hanoi FC coach banned from final V. League 1 clash

By Lam Thoa, Dong Huyen   November 6, 2020 | 12:52 am PT
Aggressive showdown sees Hanoi FC coach banned from final V. League 1 clash
Hanoi FC coach Chu Dinh Nghiem (L) is with midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai during a game at V. League 1 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nam Anh.
Coach Chu Dinh Nghiem of Hanoi FC will be absent in the most crucial game of the season for overreacting against a referee.

On Friday, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) suspended Nghiem for Hanoi FC's last game in 2020 V. League 1 against Than Quang Ninh, a match the former must win to clinch the V. League 1 title, should their direct competition Viettel FC draw or lose against Saigon FC.

In their Wednesday meeting, defending champions Hanoi beat Saigon by 4-2, though a persistently upset Nghiem overreacted against the referee, especially as Saigon equalized 1-1 at the end of the first half. Nghiem, his assistants and players subsequently confronted the referee over an alleged foul committed by an opponent.

"In some situations, referees failed to penalize Saigon. We found this unfair so we voiced our opinion. However, the refs have their own take on the matter," Nghiem said after the game.

Nghiem is the only member of the Hanoi coaching team to receive a ban, since Vietnam Football JSC did not file a report against any other member of the squad.

Accordingly, the coach will not be allowed to direct his players from the sideline, tasked with instructing his assistants from the stand instead. Currently, Hanoi has 36 points and Viettel, 38. The only way Hanoi could still win V. League 1 this season is via a victory against Quang Ninh while Saigon loses to Viettel. Both games will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Ngo Duy Lan, the only FIFA Elite referee in Vietnam, was originally assigned to the match between Saigon and Viettel. However, Lan was suspended for skipping a penalty in the clash between Becamex Binh Duong and Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) on November 3, affecting the results. Replacing him in the Saigon - Viettel clash will be Nguyen Ngoc Chau.

"Lan is a great referee but if he makes a mistake, we have to do something about it. There’s no exception," Head of VFF Referee Department Duong Van Hien said.

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