Three foreigners among 16 bidding Saigon FC farewell after V. League 1

By Kim Hoa, Khoa Lai   November 11, 2020 | 10:33 pm PT
Three foreigners among 16 bidding Saigon FC farewell after V. League 1
Saigon FC's Pedro Paulo Alves Vieira Dos Reis (C) in the club final game of the V. League 1 season against Viettel on November 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Saigon FC.
Three foreign and 13 local Saigon FC footballers will walk out or have their contracts terminated after 2020 V. League 1 concluded.

A total 16 out of 28 players will no longer wear the jersey of third-placed Saigon FC during the next V. League 1 season, including South Korean defender Ahn Byung-keon and Brazilian forwards Pedro Paulo Alves Vieira Dos Reis and Geovane Magno Candido Silveira.

The Brazilian duo scored a total 20 out of 30 goals, with Pedro Paulo being one of the two top scorers at V League 1 this season with 12 goals.

Pedro has been with Saigon FC for two seasons.

"The club is like a family to me. During my time here, I've rediscovered myself and found good teammates and brothers. Today, after deciding to leave the club, in my heart, I still want the best for Saigon FC," the 26-year-old posted via Facebook on Wednesday.

The Vietnamese players were either let go or returned to their former clubs.

On his social media page, captain Nguyen Quoc Long, who is leaving the club after four years, wrote: "There is no words to describe this sad ending."

Meanwhile, assistant coach Nguyen Tuan Phong, stated: "A very sad day. Even though we finished third, it feels more like we got relegated since nearly all the players are saying goodbye."

The club ranked third and finished the season on 34 points, their best record of the past 20 years.

Though no official reason has been given for the departures the change may have stemmed from an internal conflict during the last few rounds of V. League 1.

Hanoi FC, ranked second, recently decided not to renew the contracts of Senegalese striker Pape Omar Faye and French forward Papa Ibou Kébé.

Many clubs are undergoing team restructuring to prepare for 2021 V. League 1, scheduled to commence on January 16.

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