Soccer-Vietnamese side plan to reform after match-fixing scandal


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Football players from Vissai Ninh Binh F.C. Photo: Kha Hoa Football players from Vissai Ninh Binh F.C. Photo: Kha Hoa


Disgraced Vietnamese football club Vissai Ninh Binh FC, who folded last year after nine players were banned for match-fixing, have revealed plans to reform.
Ninh Binh officials have petitioned the government and Vietnam Football Federation to allow them to resume next year with a revamped squad of young players, the club said in a statement on Sunday.
"Our boss Hoang Manh Truong still loves football very much and really regrets what happened after what he'd done to build up the team for many years," Ninh Binh director Pham Van Le was quoted as saying by news website VietNamNet on Monday.
"We have discussed the matter and decided to come back."
In August, a Vietnam court jailed their former international Tran Manh for 30 months and dished out suspended sentences to eight other players found guilty of colluding with a bookmaker to throw a second tier regional AFC Cup game in March 2014 in return for a $40,000 bribe.
That led to Ninh Binh withdrawing from the V.League amid fears domestic matches could have been rigged but they were surprisingly allowed to continue in the AFC Cup, eventually getting knocked out in the quarter-finals.
The scandal was one of many in recent years in a country notorious for illicit gambling and with one of the world's worst track records for match-fixing with players easy targets for betting syndicates.
Vietnamese police said they tracked tens of millions of dollars in online betting daily during last year's World Cup in Brazil.

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