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Vietnam football in crisis ahead of 2013 season

Vietnam football in crisis ahead of 2013 season

Monday, October 08, 2012, 16:01 GMT+7

The new season of Vietnam’s professional football leagues has been scheduled to start in late January, 2013, which means there are now only four months left for insiders to alleviate the internal crisis that has raged since the end of this year’s season. The First Division 2013 will kick off on January 18, while the top-flight V-League will see its first competition round begin a day later, the leagues’ operator, the Vietnam Professional Football (VPF), announced at the meeting to conclude the 2012 season on Saturday. VPF has received the registration of all 14 clubs to be competing at the V-League, but it is not sure if the new season will start with this number of participants. “We will verify the registrations as some of them are signed by the clubs’ managing directors, while it is required that the signatures be from the chairmen,” said VPF chairman Vo Quoc Thang. Ho Chi Minh City-based Navibank Saigon is likely to withdraw from the V-League as it may not be able to afford the VND45-billion expense necessary to keep the club going. Its major sponsor, Navibank, last week announced that it would stop funding the club due to its own financial troubles. Navibank Saigon, which is a big debtor to many stadiums and sporting centers, and its own players and coach, is seeking permission to be transferred to the city’s football federation (HFF). The club will be dissolved if the HFF, or any other institutions, rejects the transfer request. The Hanoi FC is also reportedly set for dissolution after its owner, banking mogul Nguyen Duc Kien, was arrested in August over charges of committing economic wrongdoings. Kien is also the owner of the First Division’s Hanoi Juniors, which is also expected to cease operation after his capture. With several clubs expected to withdraw from the V-League, VPF said it has already developed plans in case the expectations come true. “The V-League can still be run with less than 14 clubs,” the VPF said in a statement, while elaborating that the club(s) from the First Division will replace the V-League’s withdrawal(s).Internal conflicts VPF, which was set up last year in a bid to better manage the football leagues, which had been under the management of VFF, has completed its maiden term with, sadly, an unhappy ending. At the season-concluding meeting last week, the company was accused of using VND2 billion from the V-League’s budget to wiretap some club’s owners. Nguyen Van De, chairman of the Thanh Hoa FC and the person who made the accusation, said he has obtained full proof, while VPF deputy chairmen Doan Nguyen Duc and Le Hung Dung said it was a groundless allegation. The VPF was also criticized for only summarizing the positive things it has done in the last season, while leaving the negative side unaddressed. “Such a summary will dupe outsiders into thinking that VPF has fulfilled its duty well, while there are in fact many shortcomings,” VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy told Tuoi Tre. The 2013 season is expected to be hit by the economic downturn, but the VPF failed to issue any warning for the potential hardship, he said.






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