Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The V. League is again facing a crisis with FLC Thanh Hóa president threatening to walk out with his team if the eight-match ban against captain Pape Omar Faye is not revoked.
The Senegalese striker was banned after he made a rude gesture to spectators when he was being sent off in a match against Sanna Khánh Hòa on January 14.
“I know the pressure that the organisers and the Discipline Department (of the Việt Nam Football Federation) face after problems recently concerning football violence and behaviour. However, it is not right to fine my player so heavily to satisfy the public,” President Trịnh Văn Quyết said.
Quyết said Faye was an easy and level-headed player and it was a sudden reaction in the match as he was consecutively brought down by Khánh Hòa defenders and the referees did not react to save him.
He also quoted some football experts such as Lê Thụy Hải and Trịnh Minh Huế who said that while Faye was at fault, Khánh Hòa players were equally to blame.
“As a result, the Discipline Department’s ban on Faye alone is unfair, over the top, and has followed no rule. Under these circumstances, I think we should review our participation in the V. League. We play football with determination and enthusiasm, and we spend a lot of money on it, but we have received disappointment and unfairness,” Quyết said.
In the past too, many teams, such as Hòa Phát Hà Nội, Vissai Ninh Bình, Kiên Giang and Hải Phòng, have threatened to stop playing voicing their dissatisfaction with certain decisions of the organisers.
Speaking with reporters, General Director Cao Văn Chóng of the Việt Nam Professional Football Company (VPF), which manages the league, said the threat from Thanh Hoá was not serious.
Chóng said VFP appreciated the brave decision and sense of justice of the Discipline Department. It had followed the new policy of the organisers from the beginning of the season. Thanh Hóa could voice their complaint if they were not satisfied.
“I used to manage a club, so I understand the feelings of players when they receive a heavy ban. But from the VPF side, we do not expect teams to quit for any reason. It is not a professional act,” Chóng said.
“We discussed the rules and teams which join the tournament should follow it. If they want to quit we have to accept that but still follow the rule. It takes only 15 minutes to rearrange the competition schedule,” he said.
Thanh Hóa are on top of the ranking table with three wins from three matches. They faced no difficulty in beating Long An 2-1 without Faye on Wednesday.
Tomorrow, they will play former champions Becamex Bình Dương at Gò Đậu Stadium. The hosts secured their first win in the last round, beating Cần Thơ 5-1. They are No 6 in the ranking.
In the other match, Sài Gòn FC will try to collect points from bottom-position Hoàng Anh Gia Lai who are still seeking their first win this season in Pleiku City.
Coach Nguyễn Đức Thắng of Sài Gòn said his team would have an advantage if Hoàng Anh Gia Lai continue to test their players in positions they were not good at.
“Hoàng Anh Gia Lai are struggling and have a problem in using their players. Their star (Nguyễn Công) Phượng has come back but he is being challenged to find his first goal. Statistics show that they had high ball possession but did not finish well,” said Thắng.
“In the next match, if Tuấn (of Hoàng Anh Gia Lai) insists on using midfielder Vũ Văn Thanh as a striker and forward Phượng as attacking midfielder they would reduce their power, and we can manage the game,” he said.
However, the former national defender was also cautious because the host team would play on their home ground in the Central Highlands with different weather and terrain.
“Anyway, both teams have an equal chance. Hoàng Anh Gia Lai have strong chance of winning their first points. In this match, a team with better scoring skills will be winners,” Thắng said.
At other venues, Long An will host Sông Lam Nghệ An; Quảng Nam will play Quảng Ninh Coal; SHB Đà Nẵng will entertain Hải Phòng; Cần Thơ will travel to Sanna Khánh Hòa and HCM City will face Hà Nội. — VNS