Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) general secretary Tran Quoc Tuan has officially left office after an announcement at an extraordinary meeting in Hanoi on Monday.
Tuan submitted a letter of resignation early this month after saying that he was partially responsible for the loss of the national under-23 football team in the semifinals of the 2011 South East Asian Games in Indonesia last month.
Last week, however, VFF steering committee rejected Tuan's letter of resignation and asked him to stay in his position.
The announcement on Monday came as a surprise, and VFF vice chairman Nguyen Lan Trung said, "After the meeting on December 22, we [the steering committee] met with Tuan at another meeting at which Tuan still said he would leave his position as the federation general secretary. VFF steering committee had to accept his wish."
Speaking at the Monday meeting, Tuan said, "I am very sad when I have to meet the reporters at this extraordinary meeting. I sent my letter of resignation to VFF standing committee after a lot of consideration. I want to say that I did this at my discretion without any pressure from anyone. I didn't change my mind after the steering committee rejected my letter of resignation. I still want to leave. I am in part responsible for the loss of the national U23 football team [in Indonesia last month]."
Tuan said he would return to the General Department of Physical Training and Sports to take charge of a new position.
When asked who would fill the vacancy Tuan has left, VFF vice chairman Trung did not reply, and Tuan said, "I'd rather not mention this matter at this meeting at this time. I can't recommend anyone. I hope VFF steering committee will find a new person who can promote the development of Vietnamese football."
Tuan was appointed VFF general secretary at the federation's fifth General Meeting in 2005 and became the youngest general secretary in the history of VFF when he was only 34.
He was expected to introduce new ideas to VFF's management of Vietnamese football. Tuan was then re-elected at the sixth General Meeting in 2009.
Tuan is a member of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asia Vision Department, AFC supervisor, member of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Council and a member of AFF's competition department.
Last year, Tuan was appointed by AFF to represent AFF as a member in AFC's Standing Committee for the 2011-2015 term. He became the first Vietnamese to be a member of AFC's Standing Committee.
In the country, Tuan was a member of the football competition organizing committee and was Chief of Vietnam's top-tier V-League organizing committee in the two seasons of 2009 and 2010.
Tuan was also Chief of the Vietnamese football delegation at the AFF Cup 2010 and at the South East Asian Games in 2007, 2009 and 2011.