FIFA bans 11 Vietnamese youth players for match fixing

By Hoang Nguyen   July 16, 2020 | 12:33 am PT
FIFA bans 11 Vietnamese youth players for match fixing
U21 Dong Thap players at the national U21 tournament 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.
Eleven players of Dong Thap FC’s youth team received a worldwide ban from FIFA over match fixing during the national U21 tournament.

During the opening match of U21 national qualifiers between Dong Thap and Vinh Long last year, 11 players of the former bet VND150 million ($6,480) the game would end with two goals or less. With the final score reading 1-1, they won back their money and an extra VND133 million ($5,748), which they split. Dong Thap later qualified for the U21 national tournament, where they reached the semifinals.

According to FIFA's decision issued Thursday, the heaviest punishment was given to Huynh Van Tien, who came up with the idea of match fixing and enticed other team members to join in. FIFA gave Tien a five-year ban from all football activities worldwide, effective starting May 11.

Ten other players, including Tran Cong Minh, Vo Minh Trong, 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, received a six-month ban from worldwide football activities.

Among the 11 players, Minh and Trong were members of the national U19 team that qualified for the AFC U19 championship last year.

Previously on May 11, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) also suspended these players. In particularly, Tien was fined VND5 million ($216) alongside a five-year ban from football competitions in Vietnam. Others were fined VND2.5 million ($108) and banned for six months.

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

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

Nine years later, nine players of Vissai Ninh Binh FC were banned for betting on matches in AFC Cup, in which the mastermind was jailed for 30 months.

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