Clubs protest V. League schedule change

By Lam Thoa   July 18, 2021 | 06:22 pm GMT+7
Clubs protest V. League schedule change
Hoang Anh Gia Lai (in white) are topping V. League with 29 points after 12 games. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Officials of V. League clubs are frustrated with the proposal to shift V. League 2021 to next year, saying this will mire them in financial difficulties.

"I only learned that the VPF (Vietnam Professional Football JSC) wants to postpone V. League 2021 to February 2022 from the newspapers. They didn’t even notify the clubs before doing this and it’s absurd," Nam Dinh FC director Tran Thai Toan told VnExpress.

On Saturday, VPF agreed with the proposal made by V. League organizers to move the schedule to February 2022. This proposal will be submitted to the Vietnam Football Federation and will be effective immediately if approved.

"Can the VPF assure that Covid-19 will be controlled by February next year or will they postpone it again? The financial damage for 14 clubs during the six months of waiting can go up to millions of dollars. Who will take responsibility for that?

"This proposal to change the league schedule affects the fate of many clubs and they didn’t even ask us first. The clubs are members of the VPF and according to the law, we can file a lawsuit if they make decisions that can harm our financial situation," Toan said.

Hai Phong FC chairman Van Tran Hoan also disapproved of VPF’s decision. "We feel really sad. VPF shifted the schedule without asking for our opinion."

Hoan said he understands that the schedule change is to facilitate the national team in the upcoming final World Cup qualifying round. However, the VPF needs to think about the clubs as well, he added.

"If the national team is the frontline then clubs are in the rear. If the rear has difficulties and breaks, the frontline cannot fight," Hoan said.

Hoan also disagreed that the league must continue at all costs because of the deal with sponsors. He said the damage with six months of waiting would be much bigger than the money VPF has received from the sponsors.

Officials of Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), the current V. League leader, also disagreed with VPF’s decision. They said the VPF should wait until the national team finishes the World Cup qualifying game with Australia on September 7 and resume the league, playing the games at a centralized venue.

"VPF should also think about the life of 400 players. Maybe it’s fine with 40-50 players on the national team, but what about the rest? The club can’t release them and let them be unemployed, but we can’t keep them either. For the foreign players, we can’t break their contract so it will cost us a lot of money," an HAGL official said.

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