HCM CITY (VNS) — The V-League schedule should have avoided a clash with the FIFA World Cup, allowing coaches and players to enjoy the latter to the full, V-League coaches have said.
The country's top-flight league is going on as usual, not only distracting players but also preventing them from enjoying the quadrennial football feast.
Becamex Binh Duong coach Nguyen Thanh Son expressed his bewilderment in a post-match news conference after his team's 2-0 win over defending champions T&T: "In no other country in the world except Viet Nam does the national football league take place during the World Cup.
"Our match today is probably the most watchable of the whole season, but it is inexplicably scheduled to take place on Tuesday during the busy group stage of the World Cup.
"This also explains why there was poor attendance today."
Only around 5,000 people turned up to watch the game whereas the stadium might have filled up if it been played on a weekend.
Son said the club has not banned players from watching the World Cup, merely advised them to watch only important games to keep fresh for the V-League.
"Playing football is their job and producing good results is their obligation to the club. So they have to know how to enjoy the World Cup but still do their job."
Binh Duong's players proved that they are professional and indeed know how to do their job during the match, easily outpacing their highly-rated opponents and beating them convincingly.
Ha Noi T&T head coach Phan Thanh Hung also agreed that the V-League should have been rescheduled, saying the World Cup did distract players.
"It surprises me having to play V-League matches during the World Cup and the organisers should have taken the World Cup into consideration while drawing the schedule.
"We do not ban players but players have to adapt to the fact to fulfil their duty while enjoying the World Cup." — VNS