Limits on players with Vietnamese citizenship deemed illegal

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The Ministry of Justice has said that the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF)’s Resolution issued last month to limit the number of Vietnamese players of foreign origin on the pitch during a match is unconstitutional.

At a meeting in Hanoi on November 13, the federation had said clubs were sometimes using too many expat players in a match, robbing local players of opportunities and seriously affecting the quality of Vietnamese football.

This practice would also slow down the process of training young players, the federation said, and voted to limit the number of foreign players as well as foreigners who have been given Vietnamese citizenship that can take the field during a match.

The federation issued a resolution on November 18 that would force clubs to have only one foreign player with Vietnamese citizenship on the field at any time in a game.

On November 30, VFF sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice to ask the ministry for opinions about the resolution.

In response, Deputy Minister of Justice Dinh Trung Tung has signed Document No. 4360/BTP-HCTP that says parts of the VFF’s resolution (No. 422/BB-LĐBĐVN) issued on November 18, 2009 are unconstitutional.

It said VFF’s Resolution was not in compliance with articles 49, 50, 52 and 55 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Nor was it compliant with Clause 2 of Article 5 of the Vietnam Nationality Law in 2008, Article 5 in the Labor Code and Article 45 in the Sports Law.

According to the Constitution and the aforementioned laws, people with Vietnamese nationality are Vietnamese citizens; and every Vietnamese citizen is treated equal by law without discrimination.

VFF’s Resolution limited the citizenship of concerned players, the ministry said, suggesting that it reconsiders the case and make amendments to the resolution that ensure compliance with current laws.

The ministry’s decision means V-League clubs can now use at most three foreign players and First Division clubs can use two foreigners at any given time during a match, as per previous regulations.

Also, clubs that have Vietnamese nationals of foreign origin can use them all at any time during a match.

Source: Thanh Nien

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