Life ban for V.League referee after wrong penalty call

By Lan Phuong, Thanh Nien News

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Song Lam Nghe An Coach Ngo Quang Truong (red) opposes the penalty decision of referee Ha Anh Chien. Photo: Minh Tu Song Lam Nghe An Coach Ngo Quang Truong (red) opposes the penalty decision of referee Ha Anh Chien. Photo: Minh Tu

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The Vietnam Football Federation has issued a rare life ban against a referee for making a wrong penalty decision in a V.League match between Thanh Hoa and Song Lam Nghe An on Sunday.
Ha Anh Chien has made "an irreversible mistake," Nguyen Van Mui, head of the referee board at VFF, said of the tough punishment.
Chien, 40, awarded host Thanh Hoa a penalty in the last minutes and Pape Omar Fayer successfully leveled the score after Song Lam Nghe An led 2-1.
The controversial call came after Omar was brought down by Dinh Hoang.
Song Lam Nghe An coach Ngo Quang Truong protested the decision, but was ordered leave the field. 
The decision was later reviewed and it became clear that Chien made a wrong call because the foul was well outside the box.
Chien, an employee of Thanh Tri Sports Club in Hanoi, has been a referee for six years, including the last two years in the top-tier V.League. 
The organizer of V.League, Vietnam Professional Football, has apologized to Song Lam Nghe An and local football fans for the incident. But the result of the match cannot be amended, it said, citing regulations.
Earlier on May 10, VFF issued a fine of VND5 million (US$224) against Truong, the Song Lam Nghe An coach. He will also be banned from his team's next two matches. 

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