Vietnam demand review of awful AFF Cup semifinal refereeing

By Lam Thoa   December 24, 2021 | 10:55 pm PT
Vietnam demand review of awful AFF Cup semifinal refereeing
Referee Saoud Ali Al-Adba gives Vu Van Thanh a yellow card for reacting in the first leg of AFF Cup semifinals between Vietnam and Thailand on December 23, 2021. Photo by Leo Shengwei
After losing to Thailand in the first leg of the AFF Cup semifinals, Vietnam have questioned the refereeing and asked the ASEAN Football Federation to review it.

On Friday Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) vice president Tran Quoc Tuan discussed the issue personally with AFF president Khiev Sameth and general secretary Winston Lee.

He said the referees in the tournament have not met the required standards and made many mistakes that affected the results, including that of the match between Vietnam and Thailand on Thursday night.

The main referee from Qatar, Saoud Ali Al-Adba, completely missed many situations that could have ended in red cards for players from both teams.

He ignored a clear foul when Thailand’s Teerathon Bunmathan elbowed Nguyen Quang Hai in the face.

Later he gave Thai keeper Chatchai Budprom a yellow card instead of red for coming out of the box and fouling Nguyen Van Toan and directly preventing him from scoring.

Vietnam’s captain Que Ngoc Hai kicked the ball repeatedly into the face of Supachok Sarachat when he was on the ground, and Al-Adba again missed it.

Though the result of the game cannot be changed once it is over, any discussion will only make the organizers pay closer attention to refereeing and consider solutions before the second leg and the final.

The VFF also called for using video replays (VAR technology) in future tournaments to reduce errors.

After the loss to Thailand, Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo said the referee should review the game if he had time.

Indonesian head coach Shin Tae-yong was also upset with the referees for inaccurate calls they made in the first leg semifinal against Singapore.

He said: "VAR technology should be applied here to help the refs avoid mistakes. One wrong decision from the ref can ruin the whole tournament."

In October the VFF had asked FIFA to review the refereeing in Vietnam’s World Cup qualifier against Australia after failing to get what should have been a clear penalty.

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