May, 15 2014 09:51:13

V-League to hire foreign referees

DA NANG  (VNS) — The organising committee of the national football championship V-League will hire Japanese and Australian referees to officiate at some key matches in the second stage.

The head of V-League 1's referee board, Nguyen Van Mui, announced on Tuesday that the decision is aimed at improving the quality of the matches and preventing any match-fixing issues in the second stage from June 27 to August 10.

"We have waited for the decision from the previous championships. It's the time that we give a strong commitment towards improving the quality of football," Mui said at the supervisors, referees and managers training course in Da Nang on Tuesday.

"The organising committee also invited the police to lecture at the training as well as supervise the championship," he said.

Last month, key players of the Vissai Ninh Binh team were found to be involved in match-fixing at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.

The team was allowed by the Viet Nam Football Federation and the Viet Nam Professional Football Joint Stock Company (APF) to stay away from play this season so that the allegations of match-fixing by their footballers could be investigated.

The matches over which the team manager had doubts are the ones in which Ninh Binh lost to Quang Ninh 1-3 and to Binh Duong 2-5 in the V-League, and won against Malaysia's Kelatan 3-2 in the AFC event.

Speaking at the training yesterday, head of V-League organising committee Tanaka Koji said the quality of the matches in the national football championship is yet to improve.

"I feel that almost all football clubs in the championship are yet to take care of the match quality. Many teams give tasks to foreign footballers," Koji told the training session.

"I expect all teams to watch out for Vietnamese footballers, and not be too dependent on foreign players. I emphasize that because they (foreign players) do not play for the Viet Nam national football team," he said, adding that the teams should offer a chance to domestic footballers.

In previous championships, the foreign strikers were on the list of the top scorers and most teams recruited them as forwards.

This year, there are 40 foreign footballers, of which 15 were from Nigeria and Brazil, at the championship.

Some of them have become key players of their teams, including Nigerian Felix Ogbuke and Timothy Anjembe of Hoang Anh Gia Lai; former Argentinean player Gaston Merlo of Da Nang; and Marronkle Gonzalo of Ha Noi T&T.

Koji, who took over as head of the championship in February, said the teams must improve the infrastructure.

"The teams have to upgrade the quality of the stadium turf, the stand equipment, lighting system and restrooms. It would attract fans to watch football matches at the stadium," he said, adding that some fans gained entry to the stadium without tickets.

The Japanese boss also stressed that to improve the quality of football, the quality of supervisors and referees needs to be improved and coaches, players, managers and VFF officials need to join hands.

Ninety-one referees and assistants are participating in the championship. — VNS

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