Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Football referee Hà Anh Chiến and referee assistant Trần Duy Khánh have been banned till the end of the V.League’s first leg following serious mistakes that made headlines for days.
Chiến was to be the main referee of the round nine match between hosts FLC Thanh Hóa and Sông Lam Nghệ An on May 8.
The referee awarded Thanh Hóa with a penalty in the 87th minute when Sông Lam Nghệ An were leading 2-1.
Sông Lam Nghệ An’s Trần Đình Hoàng forced Pape Omar Faye down near the penalty area and when Chiến approached the scene from the far side and saw the Senegal striker inside the box, he decided to award Thanh Hóa with a penalty shot.
Faye easily scored and Thanh Hóa managed to avoid a loss.
The Sông Lam Nghệ An players and their coach Ngô Quang Trường objected, but instead of reversing his decision, the referee handed Trường a red card.
In another incident, Khánh was the referee assistant in the match between Hà Nội T&T and Hải Phòng at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in the same round.
Khánh was in a good position with a clear view when Nguyễn Thành Chung of Hà Nội T&T made a straight shot to Hải Phòng’s net in the 25th minute. The ball crossed the line before being kicked out from the goalpost by Hải Phòng defender Lê Văn Phú. When main referee Nguyễn Hiền Triết, who missed the action, did not recognise a goal for the hosts, Chung did not inform Triết of his error.
Hà Nội T&T eventually ended Hải Phòng’s unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory.
On May 9, Hồ Văn Chiêm, general director of Sông Lam Nghệ An Football Jointstock Company, and coach Trường, who represented the entire team, sent a document to the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) and Việt Nam Professional Football Company (VPF) calling for a life ban for Chiến.
Chiến’s decision not only cost Sông Lam Nghệ An a win, but also caused much anger among the fans, the document said.
The head of the VFF’s Referee Committee, Nguyễn Văn Mùi, called these mistakes serious. He said Chiến’s wrong decision had affected the outcome of the match.
The bans were temporary and would be reviewed at a meeting by the end of the first leg on June 25, he said.
Cao Văn Chóng, general director of VPF which manages the tournament, also called Chiến’s mistake terrible and confirmed the company would impose a hefty fine on him.
Chóng said the mistake was unacceptable, had disappointed VPF and had strongly affected the transparency of the league.
Chiến, through statements in several newspapers, admitted his mistake and sent an apology to Sông Lam Nghệ An.
“It was the end of the match and I was a little tired and standing far away from the scene. When I ran in, seeing Omar in the box, I decided it was a penalty,” Chiến said.
“It all happened too fast and since I had already made my decision, it was really difficult to change it. When I watched the video tape again I knew I was wrong. I am sad and regret my mistake but it is too late to do anything. I want to convey my sincere apology to Sông Lam Nghệ An and their fans. I also want to say sorry to the (referee) committee because I failed to do my duty,” Chiến said.
Chiến was previously blamed for ‘helping’ FLC Thanh Hóa beat Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 2-1 in a round 15 match last season.
During that game, the referee recognised Hoàng Đình Tùng’s goal in the 82nd minute, although the striker had touched the ball with his hand.
With one point from the May 8 match, FLC Thanh Hóa is at second position with 16 points in the rankings and narrowed their gap to six points with leader Hải Phòng.
Sông Lam Nghệ An rank 11 with only 10 points.
In the next round FLC Thanh Hóa will play Sài Gòn FC, and Sông Lam Nghệ An will play SHB Đà Nẵng at Chi Lăng Stadium. VNS