Vietnam Football Federation asks FIFA to review referee work

By Hoang Nguyen, Lam ThoaSeptember 8, 2021 | 11:00 pm PT
Vietnam Football Federation asks FIFA to review referee work
Nguyen Phong Hong Duy's shot hit the elbow of Rhyan Grant in the World Cup qualifiers game between Vietnam and Australia on September 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
After a controversial referee decision in the World Cup qualifying game with Australia, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) sent a letter to FIFA querying the incident.

"We didn’t criticize, only gave constructive opinions and asked related parties to review the referee work, in order to improve the quality of the tournament after the controversial situation in the match between Vietnam and Australia," VFF Vice President Tran Quoc Tuan told VnExpress on Wednesday.

In the 27th minute of the game, Nguyen Phong Hong Duy made two shots from outside the box. They were blocked by Australia's defenders, but one of them hit the elbow of Rhyan Grant. After that, referee Abdulrahman Al Jassim received a signal from the VAR team and reviewed the situation on video. However, he decided it was not a penalty and resumed the game.

"I have reviewed it many times and collected opinions from domestic and international experts about the situation. Vietnam deserve a penalty," Tuan said.

"In the past, we can sympathize with referees about incorrect decisions. But now VAR is here, which means everything can be reviewed clearly and help them make the right calls. However, that didn’t happen in this game."

In the letter, VFF thanked FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for adopting VAR in matches of the final World Cup qualifying round. This has been well-received by the majority of Vietnamese fans and media, who place great faith in referee decisions.

Therefore, VFF wants FIFA and AFC to strengthen their inspection and assessment of refereeing quality to avoid mistakes in upcoming fixtures and protect the image as well as the reputation of the tournament, it said.

Before the Australia game, a referee decision also influenced the outcome of the match between Saudi Arabia and Vietnam on Sept. 2. When Vietnam were leading 1-0, referee Ilgiz Tantashev gave Saudi Arabia a penalty and sent Do Duy Manh off when the ball bounced off his thigh and hit his arm inside the box. After that, a 10-men Vietnam lost 1-3.

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