V. League referee faces double penalty

By Hoang Nguyen, Nam AnhJuly 24, 2020 | 01:09 am PT
V. League referee faces double penalty
Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh players confront referee Mai Xuan Hung on their match with Sai Gon FC on July 18, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.
Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) decided to double its punishment of referee Mai Xuan Hung following a series of mistakes in a league match on July 18.

The referee initially faced a three-game suspension, which has been increased to six by VFF, including the three first of the second leg set to kick off on August 18.

Hung had committed major mistakes that directly affected the match, refusing to award two legit penalties to Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh after a Saigon FC player committed a hand-ball foul inside the box. As a result, Nam Dinh lost the game 0-3 to Saigon.

With the six game suspension, Hung will undergo the heaviest domestic referee ban this season. Previously, referee Vu Phuc Hoan also got suspended for four games after multiple errors that affected the Nam Dinh and Hai Phong FC match on June 23.

Nam Dinh suffered additional bad refereeing on June 18 against Thanh Hoa FC when it lost 0-1 after an offside goal and on July 6 when it drew 2-2 with Than Quang Ninh due to a disallowed goal.

Losing points to referee errors, Nam Dinh technical director Nguyen Van Sy said the club would consider withdrawing from the league if the situation persists.

However, after drawing with Becamex Binh Duong with 1-1 on Thursday, club head coach Pham Hong Phu said the team would continue its campaign since the referee had shown improved judgement.

"We threatened to leave the league due to frustration. But after consideration, everything seems to be alright now," Phu said.

In its game with Binh Duong, Nam Dinh supporters stood with their backs turned to express discontent at their team's unfair experience this season.

"Refereeing during this game, overseen by Ngo Duy Lan, was pretty good," Phu added.

Lan, the number one and only certified FIFA elite referee in Vietnam, awarded one yellow to Nam Dinh and two to Binh Duong. He also red carded Binh Duong’s tech director Dang Tran Chinh for overreacting.

After 11 fixtures or 77 games, Nam Dinh stands at 12th in the ranking on 10 points. With only two games left in the first leg, its chances of reaching the top eighth in the title race are almost over. In the second leg, the top eight teams would compete for the first to third spots, while the bottom six face-off for last place. This means Nam Dinh needs to accumulate as much points as possible to survive the tough regelation battle ahead.

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