Hai Phong hooligans jailed for football violence

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A Hanoi court on Monday handed down prison terms to two of eight hooligans convicted of "causing public disorder" during a football march last June in Hai Phong.


Do Quang Linh, 23, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, while Dinh Tri Manh, 22, got a 12-month, 29-day term.


Do Van Tu, 18, meanwhile, received a 12-month suspended sentence and a 24-month probation.


Three others, Hoang Ha Giang, 28, Luu Trung Duong, 35, and Vu Manh Ha, 19, were placed under house arrest and ordered to attend re-education programs for 12 months each.


For the same charge and another one - "damaging property", Hoang Van Thao, 22, and Hoang Huy Hop, 21, each got 30-month suspended sentences with probation of 54 months and 34 months respectively.


The defendants, all of whom are from the northern province of Hai Phong, were also ordered to pay their victims compensation worth nearly VND30 million (US$1,571).


According to the indictment, on the afternoon of June 10, 2009, around 5,000 football fans from Hai Phong came to the Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi to support the Hai Phong Cement squad in their match with The Cong, a senior and popular club of the Vietnamese Army.


The eight Hai Phong residents shouted offensive words at the police and threw different objects at them, upset at the happenings on the football field.


Following Hai Phong's defeat in the match, the mini-mob spilled out onto the streets and threw bricks at police cars and street lamps, attacking several police officials and by-passers.


Prosecutors said the fans were not accused of "deliberately causing injuries" as investigators failed to identify which suspect hit whom.


Hai Phong football fans have since been indefinitely banned from attending matches in stadiums outside their city.

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