Coach Park to pitch for AFF Cup

By Lam Thoa   April 10, 2020 | 07:23 pm PT
Coach Park to pitch for AFF Cup
Coach Park Hang-seo is sent off after overreacting with the main referee during SEA Games 30 men's football final on December 10, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Vietnam Football Federation affirmed coach Park Hang-seo won't be suspended from the ASEAN Football Federation Championship (AFF Cup) this year due to an earlier SEA Games foul.

"It’s assured coach Park will not be suspended from AFF Cup 2020. His penalty only applies to friendly games and youth levels like SEA Games. It is not effective at national team level," Deputy Chairman of VFF Tran Quoc Tuan said on Thursday.

During the SEA Games 30 final between Vietnam and Indonesia, Park stepped onto the field and argued with referees about a foul against one of his players, Nguyen Trong Hoang, who was pushed down by Osvaldo Haay. Instead of giving Haay a yellow card, main referee Majed Al-Shamrani gave Indonesia a throw-in.

After Park's loud response, Al-Shamrani decided to send the coach off for overreacting, only for him to return seconds later to argue with assistant referees along the sideline. 

Two months after the incident, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decided to fine Park $5,000 plus suspension in four games, calling his behavior "inappropriate."

"After receiving the disciplinary decision from AFC, VFF organized friendlies for players to practice and Park to complete his penalty against Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. But due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these games were canceled. We have discussed this matter with AFC and confirmed coach Park will not be affected by the AFF Cup penalty this year," Tuan said.

The national team will gather for training in June and may also play a friendly to prepare for World Cup 2022 qualifiers and AFF Cup at the end of the year.

AFF Cup 2020 will take place from November 30 to December 31. Vietnam are currently the defending champions after claiming the title in 2018.

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