Vietnam footballer gets 30 months for match-fixing, gambling

Thanh Nien News

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Vissai Ninh Binh's defender Tran Manh Dung gets 30 months for gambling. Vissai Ninh Binh's defender Tran Manh Dung gets 30 months for gambling.


A court in the northern province of Ninh Binh on Monday sentenced Tran Manh Dung, a famed defender on its provincial football team, to 30 months in jail  for match fixing.
Eight other players from the Vissai Ninh Binh Club walked out of court with suspended sentences for betting on a series of Asian Football Council matches.
The Hai Phong bookie who took the bets, Dao Duc Loi, will spend 30 months in jail for organizing the scheme.
Two players, Le Quang Hung and Nguyen Manh Dung, got 27 months of probation.
Six other players were sentenced to two years probation, including Pham Xuan Phu, Chu Ngoc Anh, Le Van Duyet, Nguyen Gia Tu, Nguyen Van Hung and Phan Anh Tuan.
Loi and nine players were also fined VND20-25 million (US$945-1,180) each.
All of the defendants confessed to their role in the crime; no one from the team had requested legal representation during the trial.
According to the indictment, the nine footballers jointly placed an elaborate bet with Loi.
The scheme began when Nguyen Manh Dung and Tran Manh Dung began enlisting other players to bet on the point spread in their match against Malaysia’s Kelantan on March 18.
Tran Manh Dung reportedly invited Loi to Ninh Binh to discuss the scheme over dinner with Nguyen Manh Dung.
The two Dungs allegedly plotted the scheme with seven other players during various meetings held in Vietnam and Malaysia ahead of the match.
Eventually, they placed a bet VND1.02 billion with Loi via text message. Vissai Ninh Binh defeated Kelantan 3-2 and the players won VND850.
Loi sent them their winnings after they returned to Ho Chi Minh City. The players had split the money, before handing it all over to the police.
According to Major Colonel Nguyen Van Hoan of the Ninh Binh Police Department, investigators have kept an eye on the suspects for some time.
Their investigation began after the club's leadership received an anonymous letter detailing the author's suspicions the team's illicit interest in the outcome of their matches, he said.
During a subsequent investigation, the suspects admitted to their crime, Hoan said.

Vietnamese football has been riddled with rampant match-fixing with the police arresting scores of coaches, bookmakers and players. 

In 2005, a group Vietnamese national team players were also arrested and found guilty of fixing an international match.

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