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Local coaches vote with their feet on chance to take charge of national football team

Coach Phan Thanh Hung (R) showed interest in the invitation from VFF but said he would not resign from V-League club Hanoi T&T with whom he has a lifetime contract

Three local coaches nominated for the position of the head coach of the national football team have politely declined the offer, putting the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) in a spot of bother.

It is now waiting for instructions from the General Department of Physical Training and Sports on what it has to do next.

Finding a head coach for the national team has always been a tough task. The high salary demanded by good foreign coaches has shifted the focus to local talents, but a VFF stipulation that the head coach of the national team cannot be in charge of a club at the same time has been a major stumbling block.

The VFF made the stipulation clear when beginning to negotiate with nominees in early April.

Phan Thanh Hung, coach of 2010 V-League champions Hanoi T&T, showed interest in the invitation from VFF but said that he would not leave his position at the club, with whom he has signed a lifetime contract.

Hung said he if accepted the offer, he could guarantee success at the 2012 ASEAN Football Federation Cup later this year. In this he was showing more confident than previous foreign coaches by including the provision that he would help Vietnam win a medal at the event. Former foreign coaches had only said that they would do their best.

Hung, however insisted that would not sign a long term contract.

The other two nominees, Nguyen Huu Thang, coach of V-League champs Song Lam Nghe An, and Le Huynh Duc, coach of the league's 2009 champs Da Nang, did not refuse the offer directly, but cited personal and family problems for their inability to take up the job.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese men's national football team will gather to prepare for two friendly matches with China on the eighth of June and with Macau on June 10.

VFF vice chairman Nguyen Lan Trung said, "We will stick to our idea of choosing a local coach who has to sign a long-term contract and will have no other job other than as national team coach."

"For the two friendly matches, the VFF standing committee will decide to choose one of the three said nominees and call him Acting Head Coach. Maybe Hung will be selected for that position because he is in Hanoi, so it is more convenient for him than the other two."

Trung said VFF would also hold more discussions and decide who would take charge of the national team at the AFF Cup. They can't make the final decision now, he said.

Speaking to Thanh Nien, Coach Hung said he is willing to take charge of the national team for the friendlies in China in June; but he would leave the post after because he can't leave his post at the club.

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