HAGL won’t penalize Lee for long holiday

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V-League club Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) on Wednesday said it would not penalize Lee Nguyen for taking too long a vacation away from the club.

Last November, club owner Doan Nguyen Duc said he would end the Vietnamese American midfielder’s contract after Nguyen had failed to return to Vietnam after the two weeks allotted to him for a trip to the US had expired.

After a four-week practice session at English Premier club Arsenal ended in October 10, Nguyen asked HAGL to let him fly to the US for a two-week vacation with his family in Dallas. But over three months passed before Lee showed up in Vietnam.

Lee landed at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport at midnight on Tuesday and less than seven hours later, HAGL picked him up to visit to an orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City along with the club.

Speaking to Thanh Nien after the orphanage visit, HAGL management said it had decided to penalize Lee by not paying him his salary for the time he was away. But the club then decided not to punish him after Lee apologized to club managers and promised to do his best for the V-League 2005-2006 champions.

Lee moved to HAGL from Danish club Randers in January this year on a three-year contract with a monthly salary of US$10,000 plus bonuses. In the 2009 season, Lee scored 12 goals for the club.

He is considered one of the best players in the league and is known for his clutch playing.

Meanwhile, another of the club’s stars, Thai midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao, considered Southeast Asia’s best midfielder, has completed papers to move to Muangthong United after the 2009 Thai-League champions agreed to pay US$200,000 to HAGL for whom Thonglao has played since the beginning of the 2007 season.

Source: Thanh Nien

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