April 14, 2014, HANOI, Vietnam (ISN) – Vietnamese police are investigating an alleged match-fixing incident involving 11 professional soccer players.
Hoang Manh Truong, the owner of the top-flight V-League side the Vissai Ninh Binh, said Monday the players had admitted to police they conspired to fix the result of an Asian Football Confederation Cup match against Malaysian club Kelantan last month after placing bets with a bookmaker.
He said police are widening their investigation into other domestic and international matches played by his club.
“I was betrayed,” Truong said by telephone. “I feel very sad and I will work to the end to clean Vietnam’s soccer. We will work with police to bring to light those involved.”
He said the club would decide this week whether to continue playing in the AFC Cup and the local league.
Police across Asia are struggling to prevent match-fixing, which has long been prevalent in the region, hampering the sport’s development.
In 2005, several Vietnamese national team players were convicted of fixing an international match.
In a statement on its website, the AFC expressed its concerns “over the match-fixing issue which came to light in Vietnam,” but said it would wait for the Vietnam Football Federation’s investigation before taking any action.
The federation said it was serious about handling the case.
“The VFF will assist police in widening their investigation into other matches, not only Ninh Binh ones but also of other clubs,” VFF President Le Hung Dung was quoted as saying by online newspaper VnExpress. “A major surgery is needed to cut out the malignant tumour and make Vietnam football healthy.”