V. League club to fine 'overweight' players post-Tet

By Dong Huyen   February 5, 2021 | 12:15 am PT
V. League club to fine 'overweight' players post-Tet
Vietnamese-American midfielder Lee Nguyen in a training session of HCMC FC, January 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cao Toan.
HCMC FC players will be fined VND10 million ($430) if they gain more than one kilogram after the Lunar New Year holiday.

The rule was set by head coach Alexandre Polking prior to the holiday, Tet, which peaks on February 12 and is the country's biggest occasion for gatherings and parties.

"We can only gain a maximum one kilogram or be fined VND10 million. I think the rule is reasonable because despite having a good time during Tet, players still have to maintain a healthy lifestyle," HCMC captain Sam Ngoc Duc said.

"We cannot eat whatever we want because that will affect our physical health and we won't be fit when we return to training. Therefore, the whole team will follow the rule strictly," Duc said.

After winning 2-0 against Ha Tinh in the second V. League round, HCMC were set to play Than Quang Ninh. However, due to the new Covid-19 outbreak, the league got suspended. After that, HCMC players kept on training until Feb. 4. At the moment, domestic players have all returned to their families for Tet. Coach Polking and foreign players will stay at the training complex.

"We told players to follow pandemic prevention rules when they go back home. In addition, they have to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to avoid gaining weight," a member of the HCMC coaching board said.

Last year, Binh Dinh FC also introduced a similar rule for their players. If a player gained weight they would be fined VND1 million, but if they could maintain their weight, they would be rewarded VND500,000. This year, Binh Dinh rescinded the rule, but if any player were to gain weight, they would have to train twice as much to get back in shape.

Meanwhile, Than Quang Ninh did not let their players return home since they will have to be quarantined for two weeks. Players will have to enjoy Tet at the training complex and keep training while awaiting V. League’s return.

Quang Ninh Province in northern Vietnam is home to one of the biggest clusters of community transmissions from the latest outbreak, with 44 cases confirmed since last week.

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