Vietnam has third highest number of FIFA referees in Southeast Asia

By Hoang Nguyen   May 16, 2020 | 06:33 pm PT
Vietnam has third highest number of FIFA referees in Southeast Asia
Ngo Duy Lan is the only FIFA elite referee in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.
Vietnam has eight football and futsal referees in the FIFA list, the third highest number in Southeast Asia.

It also has 10 football assistant referees in the list.

Malaysia has 20 FIFA referees while Thailand leads the region with 26.

Brunei does not have a single FIFA referee.

Among Vietnam's 18 officials, only Ngo Duy Lan is an elite referee, the highest level in refereeing, which means he will officiate in important tournaments like the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and the AFC Champions League. To reach the elite level, he had to referee three important matches selected and supervised by the AFC.

Previously, Vietnam had another FIFA elite referee, Nguyen Hien Triet, who was verified in 2015 and reached elite level in 2017. But when taking the regular physical test for referees in June 2019, Triet couldn’t complete it as he fainted during the last few rounds. At the moment, Triet is no longer a FIFA referee.

Another Vietnamese referee, Tran Dinh Thinh, was also no longer qualified by FIFA. Thinh was verified by FIFA in 2019 but he was suspended by Vietnam Football Federation in the same year because of his mistakes in a third round game of V. League 1 2019 between Hanoi FC and Viettel FC.

Thinh awarded Viettel a penalty in the last minute of the game. The Hanoi FC goalkeeper successfully blocked the penalty but he made a technical mistake, stepping out of the goal line to block the ball. However, referee Thinh didn’t let Viettel FC retake the penalty because he didn’t know the basic rules by heart.

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