VFF ignores attack on journalist pleading no evidence

TN News

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The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) decided on Wednesday not to penalize Thien Truong Stadium management or individuals who were directly involved in an attack on a reporter on Sunday.

Nguyen Hai Huong, manager of VFF's penalty department, said there was not enough evidence to back the reporter's allegations that he was attacked by people involved with the stadium management.

Reporter Duy Bui of The Thao 24 gio (Sports 24 hours) newspaper was angry with the department's decision and later on Wednesday sent a letter to the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh and chairman of Vietnam Journalists Association to ask that "justice be done."

On Sunday, Bui alleged that he was attacked by a group of people belonging to the stadium management as he tried to take some photos of a fight during a V-League eighth round match between hosts Nam Dinh and Dong Tam Long An (DTLA).

He said that group of people used violence and shouted abuse and violently took him out of the field. They took his camera and deleted the photos he had taken and damaged his camera.

Footage provided by the Voice of Vietnam (VOV) that Thanh Nien reporters have seen also shows that about 10 people took Duy Bui by the collar, pulled at his hands and violently pushed him out of the field.

However, in the announcement on Wednesday, Nguyen Hai Huong said the stadium management denied the allegations and a report by match supervisor Nguyen Van Nhat didn't mention any misdoing by the stadium management.

Huong said the penalty department and he had seen the video recording about the match but hadn't seen anything that matched the allegations, so they could not penalize the stadium management.

The stadium management's report said, "When a fight took place between players of the two teams in the 34th minute of the match, a person ran down to the field from Stand A's VIP area, with a camera raised high in his hand."

The report said this person was neither wearing a card nor a special shirt for use by reporters. The security guards asked him to leave but he refused, so there were violent pulls and pushes between the two sides.

Reporter Duy Bui said angrily, "Apart from the card issued by the league organizers, I have always had my journalist card with me. The question is whether a journalist card is useless in the V-League. The matter is that the freedom of press and the dignity of a journalist were damaged."

He said the stadium management hadn't given him and other reporters the special shirts for use that other stadiums usually do.

He said he didn't run down to the field from the stands and the footage by VOV proves that.

Duy Bui said he didn't understand why the stadium management received only a warning. He said the stadium management owes him an apology.

Meanwhile, the VFF's penalty department on the same day decided that Danny David of DTLA be suspended for three matches and fined VND10 million for deliberate violent fouls on Danh Ngoc and Van Duyet of Nam Dinh.

Phan Quy Hoang Lam of DTLA was suspended for two matches and fined VND5 million for pushing Van Duyet in the face.

The department said it was these two players who had started the fight at the stadium.

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