by Hoai Nam
DA NANG — Despite calls from the owner of SHB Da Nang football club for the National Premier Football Championship to be suspended because of sub-standard refereeing, the proposal has been roundly rejected by other clubs.
However, Bui Xuan Hoa request is being considered by the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) and V-League organising committee.
Hoa called for play to be stopped because of what he claimed were a series of poor decisions by referees that had favoured home sides and teams that were in danger of relegation to the First Division.
"The championship has run for nine rounds, a third of the scheduled 26 rounds, but a number of referees have made some horrendous decisions," Hoa told Viet Nam News yesterday. "I just warned the V-League organising committee that it should review the work of the referees immediately."
He added that the situation would only get worse unless the standard of refereeing improved.
"The V-League organising committee should assign the best referees for tough games because matters can only get worse in the last rounds when teams are fighting for the V-League crown or escaping relegation," he said. "Wrong decisions by referees could alter the outcome of a game."
He also accused referees of favouring the home team or those that were at risk of being relegated.
"During the match between Ha Noi club and Da Nang at Ha Noi's Hang Day Stadium, referee Ngo Quoc Hung allowed the host a penalty and sent off a Da Nang defender. However, the replay clearly showed that the decision was wrong. Finally, Da Nang were held to a 3-3 draw when it was leading the game 3-2."
He also said the match between Da Nang and Kien Giang at home last Saturday was poorly refereed by Hoang Anh Tuan, whom Hoa said allowed Kien Giang an offside goal in the fifth minute of injury time that resulted in a 2-2 draw.
The Da Nang boss was not the only person to have criticised the conduct of referees this season. Khanh Hoa, Song Lam Nghe An and Ha Noi T&T have also complained about the running of games.
"Although we admitted that referee errors are part of the game, we do not agree with the bad conduct of some referees," Hoa said.
However, a number of V-League team managers were unanimous in saying that the League should not be suspended until the matter was resolved.
"The championship should not be postponed just because a few referees have made mistakes in some matches," said Khanh Hoa coach Hoang Anh Tuan.
Nguyen Tan Anh, the manager of Hoang Anh Gia Lai, agreed.
"It seems to be a problem for Da Nang but not other teams. We need to respond when referees are criticised but it does not mean that the championship should be postponed."
Meanwhile, Song Lam Nghe An coach Nguyen Huu Thang said: "I have not called for matches to be delayed because of referees' mistakes."
Nguyen Van Vinh, the former Hoang Anh Gia Lai coach, also said the league should not be suspended.
"The proposal from Da Nang is not necessary. The V-League organising committee should consider the management of referees, but the VFF should be involved."
Pham Phu Hoa, deputy general director of the Viet Nam Professional Football joint stock company (VPF), which manages the V-League, instantly dismissed the notion that the V-League would be suspended because of alleged poor refereeing.
"I can say categorically that the championship will continue uninterrupted. However, referees who make serious mistakes will be sacked by the VFF's Discipline Department," he said.
Head of VFF's referee board, Duong Vu Lam, also referees who mishandled matches would be censured but that matches would not be delayed.
"Referees' errors will be reviewed according to the usual process. Those found to have seriously erred will be penalised by the VFF's Discipline Department," Lam said.
Five V-League referees have been sacked this year for mismanaging games. — VNS