Vietnamese football probe expanded from AFC to V-League

By Lan Phuong, Thanh Nien News

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Two players vie for the ball during the 9th round of the 2014 V-League match between Vissai Ninh Binh and Becamex Binh Duong. Police are investigating this match and three others in which some Vissai Ninh Binh players possibly fixed the result of the match. Photo: Kha Hoa
An investigation into allegations that a group of Vissai Ninh Binh players fixed an Asian Football Confederation match last month has expanded to four other V-League matches involving the Vietnamese football club.
Vissai Ninh Binh players stand accused of gambling on the AFC match against Malaysia’s Kelantan club on March 18 in addition to four other V-League 2014 matches, a source told Thanh Nien News.
The alleged V-League matches include a 2-2 draw with Dong Tam Long An in the 5th round, a 1-3 loss to Quang Nam in the 7th round, a 2-5 loss to Becamex Binh Duong in the 9th round and 2-2 draw with Hung Vuong An Giang in the 10th round.
During these matches, Ninh Binh was always the first team to score.
Several players, including goalkeeper Nguyen Manh Dung and midfielder Le Phuoc Tu, were disciplined by the club management which accused them of questionable play.
The source told Thanh Nien that these four matches involved at least four questionable goals.
In the match with Binh Duong, a player allegedly asked a relative bet to place a bet that the match would have at least seven goals and won VND2.5 billion (US$118,600), the source said without identifying the player.
On April 15, Ninh Binh police announced they were investigating Vissai Ninh Binh for gambling on its March 18 AFC match with Kelantan, which they won 3-2.
Nine players have reportedly collected VND800 million in winnings from bookie Dao Duc Loi of Hai Phong City.
Investigators found that on March 19, defender Tran Manh Dung called Loi to ask for their winnings.
Loi then asked a gold shop in Hai Phong to transfer money to Tran Cong Thanh of HCMC’s District 1, a friend of goalkeeper Nguyen Manh Dung. 
Tran Manh Dung and Nguyen Manh Dung are among nine players suspected in the AFC match.
Investigators have banned Loi and Thanh from going abroad until the investigation is closed.
On April 16, Coach Nguyen Van Sy said investigators summoned Van Quyen and Danh Ngoc for questioning.
In 2007, Van Quyen and five former national player received suspended sentences and another was jailed for fixing a match to ensure Vietnam beat Myanmar by no more than a single goal at the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines in 2005.
Le Quoc Vuong, a midfielder for the national U-23 team, was jailed for six years for “organizing gambling” and “gambling.”
Six other players – including Van Quyen – were given suspended sentences of two years to 30 months for “organizing gambling.”

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