The Vietnam Football Federation has annulled a controversial decision that limited teams to fielding one naturalized foreign player in a match.
It had announced the rule last month saying it was meant to give more opportunities to Vietnamese players and develop local football.
The decision was panned by the media and experts who warned it may not hold up to legal scrutiny.
A chastened VFF sent a letter to the Ministry of Justice November 11, seeking its advice.
The ministry responded saying since all Vietnamese citizens must be treated equally under the law, the VFFââ‚¬â„¢s decision was not legitimate, and told it to reconsider its decision.
Subsequently, the VFF announced it would keep the regulations unchanged, meaning V-League clubs can continue to play three naturalized players in a match and First Division clubs two.
ââ‚¬Å“This is some of the best news Iââ‚¬â„¢ve ever heard,ââ‚¬ Phan Van Santos, the goalkeeper of Brazilian origin, said.
The Dong Tam Long An player said the Ministry of Justice has got it right.
ââ‚¬Å“The Vietnamese government have respected their previous commitment.ââ‚¬
VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy has promised to quickly annul the rule prompting Le Thanh Son, manager of AIC Law Firm, to say it is the right move under the Constitution, Labor Law, Nationality Law, and Sports Law.
Son also hailed the media, particularly Thanh Nien, for raising the issue and getting the authorities to step in.
Hoang Manh Truong, chairman of Vissai Ninh Binh Club, said the VFFââ‚¬â„¢s mistake has been fixed by the authorities in time.
ââ‚¬Å“If VFF wants to give more chances to local players, it can either expand the national championship or begin more tournaments to feed the V-League.ââ‚¬
For Vietnam football to advance, Truong said the federation should look ââ‚¬Å“far and wideââ‚¬ or risk ââ‚¬Å“demolishingââ‚¬ it.
ââ‚¬Å“Vietnam football is now a village pond. If we donââ‚¬â„¢t try to expand it and worry about building walls around it, it will end up being just a depression forever,ââ‚¬ he said.
Reported by Thanh Nien staff