6 Vietnamese footballers suspended regionally for match-fixing at home

By Quoc Viet, Thanh Nien News

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Dong Nai FC players accused of fixing the results of a match against Than Quang Ninh on July 20. Photo: Do Hai Dong Nai FC players accused of fixing the results of a match against Than Quang Ninh on July 20. Photo: Do Hai

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The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) extended the suspension of six Dong Nai FC players to the confederation level, the organization said in a release issued Thursday.
The decision came from the office of the chairman of AFC's Disciplinary Committee following sanctions issued by the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) Disciplinary Committee.
On July 23, the VFF Disciplinary Committee temporarily prohibited six players from taking part in any kind of football-related activity following a national investigation into match fixing.
The six players, including the team captain, were arrested after Dong Nai FC’s V-League loss to Than Quang Ninh FC on July 20 at the Cam Pha Stadium, Quang Ninh.
The suspended players, all of whom are Vietnamese nationals, were Pham Huu Phat, Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, Nguyen Duc Thien, Ha Niem Tien, Phan Luu The Son and Dinh Kien Trung.
According to AFC, the suspensions will expire on 23 January, 2015.
On July 23, Vietnamese police detained the six players after their 5-3 defeat by Quang Ninh in a top flight V-League match.
Match-fixing has long plagued Vietnamese soccer, as reflected in the commonplace arrests of coaches, bookmakers and players. Soccer is the most popular sport and gambling is rampant, despite being strictly illegal.
Police made dozens of arrests during the last World Cup and carried out raids on underground gangs who had at least VND6.5 trillion (US$307 million) under management.
In April, Vissai Ninh Binh withdrew from the V-League over a match-fixing scandal in the AFC Cup.
 Vietnam is considering legalizing football betting.

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