VFF-AVG pact on TV rights not valid: VPF

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The newly established national football company, VPF, says it rejects the validity of 20-year-contract between the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and the An Vien Group (AVG).

Early this year, VFF and AVG signed an agreement worth VND 6 billion (US$285,000) per year that provides the latter with exclusive rights to air live the country's top-tier Super League matches. Television stations nationwide must pay to be able to re-broadcast the matches live.

VPF was established late last month, taking over from the VFF the task of managing the country's national football competitions. The VFF had asked the VPF and to honor and execute the contract signed with AVG.  The VPF has denied this.

Speaking to Thanh Nien on Saturday, VPF vice chairman Nguyen Duc Kien said, "VPF on Saturday received a document from VFF saying that it had not asked for opinions from the clubs before signing the contract with AVG.

"Therefore, VPF has denied the validity of the contract. We [VPF] ask that AVG and VFF be responsible for clarifying the validity of the contract."

VPF has meanwhile negotiated with other TV stations like Vietnam Television Station VTV. Kien said, "We follow three rules. Rule 1 is ensuring the ultimate right of the TV viewers. Football fans must be able to see the best matches live. As much as possible, the maximum number of matches of each round must be aired.

"Rule No.2 is that a contract can be no more than three years long; and Rule No.3 is that the value of each contract can't be under VND10 billion per year.

Kien also said that VPF is now focusing on promotion rather than the commercial issue. He said the company has not signed a contract with VTV but has reached some agreement in accordance with legal regulations.

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Kien said VPF would report all  related issues to the relevant agencies before the parties sign the contract.

Asked what VPF would do if the contract between VFF and AVG was taken to court and the judge ruled the federation would have to compensate the latter in the event the company signs deals with other TV stations, Kien said he didn't know if VFF or AVG wanted to take the problem to court. 

He said the VPF has thought about it and doesn't think it is the worst situation.

According to Kien, VPF wants the situation to be made clear and is not averse to the matter being settled in a court.

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