Sport officials and police officers said they were considering heavy penalties for V-League club Hai Phong's aggressive supporters who assaulted referee Vo Minh Tri on Sunday.
After Hai Phong lost 0-3 an away match to Dong Thap at the Cao Lanh Stadium in a 17th round match, a group of Hai Phong supporters stopped the vehicle carrying referee Tri from Dong Thap to Ho Chi Minh City and attacked him.
Pham Van Tuan, deputy director of the General Department of Physical Training & Sports, on Tuesday sent a report to the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) that said the incident had "badly affected football competition activities."
"VFF needs to urgently work with competent agencies of the Ministry of Public Security to find and penalize those who assaulted referee Vo Minh Tri on the way from Dong Thap to Ho Chi Minh City," it said.
The report called on VFF to take specific measures to ensure the safety of referees and supervisors who help control the matches in the country's top-flight league.
Speaking to Thanh Nien on Tuesday, Colonel Ho Sy Tien, acting Director of the C45 Police Department, said that he had received information and documents from VFF relating to the attack against Tri.
Colonel Tien said that they have asked C45 to collaborate with police in concerned cities and provinces to inspect, find and penalize the attackers.
Pham Van Hung, deputy director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Hai Phong City, strongly criticized the assault and said Hai Phong Club had no small responsibility is the matter.
Hung said the People's Committee of Hai Phong has written to the club asking it to better manage the activities its fans association, saying some people who are not members of the association have not been closely supervised.
Hai Phong Club does not have direct management over the association, but Hung said the club provides the supporters with costumes, flags and some money, so the club must bear responsibility for what has happened.
Nguyen Duy Son, Chairman of Hai Phong Club, signed and sent a document to VFF and the V-League and second-flight First Division managing company VPF to report on the action it has taken on the incident.