Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — V.League 1 side Long An have been punished severely for their unsporting behaviour in the match between Long An and HCM City on February 19.
The club was fined VNĐ100 million (US$4,350) by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF)’s Disciplinary Committee.
The VFF also fined Long An’s former chairman Võ Thành Nhiệm VNĐ20 million ($870) and coach Ngô Quang Sang VNĐ15 million ($650). They were also suspended from VFF football activities for three years for interrupting the match, disrespecting the referee, violating the responsibilities of clubs in professional Vietnamese football and damaging the reputation of the VFF and Vietnamese football.
Captain Huỳnh Quang Thanh was fined VNĐ15 million ($650), while goalkeeper Nguyễn Minh Nhựt was fined VNĐ10 million. Both were banned from VFF football activities for two years.
“I am shocked to receive this bad news. I am 31 years old; I don’t know what my future holds. I am very sad as I must bear a heavy consequence from a foolish action,” said Nhựt.
On February 19, after conceding a penalty in the 79th minute with the score at 2-2, the Long An players walked off the pitch in protest. They were convinced to return to the field five minutes later.
However, goalie Nhựt turned his back as the penalty kick was attempted, allowing the ball to roll into the net.
The situation became worse after the restart as Long An continued their demonstration by refusing to engage with HCM City, letting them score twice in quick succession, leaving the final score 5-2 to the home side.
New acting chairman of Long An Nguyễn Môn agreed with the VFF’s decision and even said that the players’ suspension was light.
“I think that the VFF could punish them more seriously. Not just Thanh or Nhựt, many other players risked their careers with unprofessional actions that harmed Vietnamese football’s image,” said Môn.
“After receiving their sentences, they can appeal to the VFF and sometimes the orginisation will reduce the punishment. I wonder if
a two year ban enough punishment? Does it help footballers respect the game?” Môn added.
34-year-old defender Thanh said he is likely to retire due to the suspension and his age.
“I planned to play this season to guide our young players. If it went well, I would have played one more year and then retired. But with this two-year suspension, I won’t play any more,” said Thanh.
“I don’t want to finish my career like this,” Thanh added.
Môn, who is a shareholder of Long An and director of Thuận Đạo industrial zone in Long An Province, said this matter will cause great difficulties for his team in the coming matches, however, the club’s leaders will do their best to restore the club’s image.
In addition to Long An, Hải Phòng FC were fined VNĐ50 million ($2,200) after their supporters threw bottles on the field and insulted VFF officials and Hà Nội FC players during and after the sixth round match at Lạch Tray Stadium on February 16. — VNS