Le Cong Vinh, a retired football star who holds the records for the most goals scored and caps for Vietnam’s national team, has stepped down as acting chairman of Ho Chi Minh City F.C., a role he accepted in January 2017.
Vinh made the surprise announcement late Wednesday at a private meeting with club executives, the head coach, and the club’s players.
The veteran striker accepted the offer to serve as acting chairman of Ho Chi Minh City F.C. in January 2017, one month after announcing his retirement in late 2016.
Vinh’s appointment came just as the club were making their debut in the V-League 1, the country’s top-flight football league.
Under his chairmanship, the club underwent a full transformation, including the construction of a five-star locker room, electronic match tickets, and the signing of several quality players.
Among Vinh’s recruits are former Manchester United midfielder Rodrigo Pereira Possebon and former Vietnam national team head coach Toshiya Miura.
The recruitments, however, were not without their criticisms – particularly the aggressive playstyle the club adopted under Miura’s tenure.
|Le Cong Vinh celebrates after scoring a goal while playing for Vietnam’s national football team. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
The football legend cited a difference in vision between himself and the club’s leaders as the primary factor in his decision to step down as chairman of Ho Chi Minh City F.C.
“When we no longer look in the same direction, I think it is better for me to stop,” Vinh said.
The club currently ranks fourth for the 2018 season of the V-League 1, with nine points after six matches.
After parting ways with the club, Vinh said his immediate plans are to focus on the recent launch of his football academy.
The CV9 community football academy, named after his initials and iconic jersey number, is aimed at providing a “healthy” sporting environment for young football talents between six and 15 years old who hope to reach the professional level.
The first courses at CV9 will open on June 15 at three locations in District 2 and District 7, Ho Chi Minh City.
Leaders of Ho Chi Minh City F.C. said a new chairman will be named in the near future.
|Le Cong Vinh (R) is seen at the launch ceremony of the CV9 community football academy in Ho Chi Minh City, May 2, 2018. Photo: Vietnam News Agency|
Le Cong Vinh earned a record 85 national caps during his career and is Vietnam’s current record holder for goals scored, with 51 shots netted for the national team.
His last match for Vietnam was a 2-2 draw against Indonesia in Hanoi on December 7, 2016, a tie that sent the visitors to the finals of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup on a 4-3 win on aggregate.
The former star is often dubbed the ‘Vietnamese Beckham’ due to similarities between the two’s success as captains of their respective national teams, as well as in their personal lives.
Vinh tied the knot with local pop singer Thuy Tien in December 2014, with whom he has a five-year-old daughter.