HA NOI — Football officials have said that the arrest of the deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (VPF), Nguyen Duc Kien, had come as a big shock, but would not affect the company or the national football leagues.
|Foul play: Deputy Chairman of the Viet Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company Nguyen Duc Kien was arrested for financial fraud. — File Photo
Kien was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly illegal financial activities were discovered at three of his companies.
According to VPF Chairman Vo Quoc Thang, the matter would not effect operations at the company because Kien was just one of nine management board members.
"The company is run by the executive board of directors headed by General Director Pham Ngoc Vien. Asides from Kien, there are other shareholders including 28 football clubs from the V-League and First Division, and representatives from the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF)," said Thang.
"Ha Noi Football Club (which Kien chairs) holds only a VND1 billion (US$47,600) stake in the VPF's total capital (VND30 billion). If Kien can no longer represent the club, a replacement can be found," Thang said.
VFF Deputy Chairman Le Hung Dung also emphasised the point.
He said the arrest would not affect national football, but would cause disruption at Kien's clubs.
"I found out about the arrest through the media, and since then many players have been calling me. Some of them have not received their salaries or bonuses for several months. The future of the club is at stake," said club coach Hoa Manh Hung.
Team captain Pham Thanh Luong said: "I have been with Kien for nearly 10 years through the ups and downs, but this is the first time I have been worried like this. The fate of the team and the futures of our players are at stake."
Kien was named sport's person of the year in 2011 after dropping a so-called ‘bomb' at the V-League's end-of-year meeting, where he revealed mistakes and shortcomings of football officials, referees and players which had existed for many years.
He also took the initiative and revolutionised football in Viet Nam by establishing the VPF to manage the national leagues last December.
He then fought Audio Video Global Company for the television broadcasting rights to the national leagues, which he said would bring more benefits to both viewers and clubs under the VPF.
Using his business contacts, Kien founded a board of 10 large national enterprises who pledged to support the development of national football.
On Sunday, two days before he was arrested, Kien was on the bench watching his players battle to avoid relegation on the final day of the season, and they did with a 5-0 win over Hai Phong. — VNS