The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) decided on Friday to suspend the 2022 Vietnam Golden Ball winner for eight matches as he had attacked an assistant referee following a lost game earlier this week.
The player, 31-year-old Nguyen Van Quyet, who just won the prestigious Vietnam Golden Ball for the second time in February this year, was also slapped with a fine of VND40 million (US$1,703).
Quyet attacked assistant referee Nguyen Le Nguyen Thanh after Hanoi FC lost 1-3 to Topenland Binh Dinh in the seventh round of the 2023 V-League 1, the top professional football league in Vietnam, on Monday.
Assistant referee Thanh affirmed that Quyet thrusted his elbow into his chest, causing him to suffer from difficulty breathing, according to news site VnExpress.
The Hanoi FC striker and skipper was immediately shown a red card at the pitch.
One day later, Quyet made a phone call to Thanh to apologize to him and also issued an apology on social media, VnExpress reported.
|Striker Nguyen Van Quyet celebrates his 100th goal at the top-tier V-League 1, April 13, 2023. Photo: Minh Duc / Tuoi Tre|
For further punishments, the tournament organizers compiled notes from the match observers and referee team and submitted a report to the VFF disciplinary committee, which eventually came up with the eight-match ban and the VND40-million fine, the highest penalties for this offense.
This means that Quyet, who has had 97 international games, including 57 caps and 16 goals in the national team jersey, will not be able to play official games until July.
Quyet was entrusted with the national team’s captain armband at several tournaments in 2018 and his latest cap was at the 2022 AFF Cup from December 20, 2022 to January 16, when he played as a starting player in two matches and a substitute in two others.
This is not the first time that the striker has been suspended for using physical violence during games.
He was banned from playing football for two matches after stepping on another player at the 2019 V-League 1.