Updates of Football Match Fixing in Viet Nam

Dec 12, 2005

Pham Van Quyen (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

Media reported that Pham Van Quyen, Le Van Truong, Tran Hai Lam and Le Bat Hieu of the U23 Viet Nam football team are involved in allegations of match fixing at the Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines late November and early December.

Dec 13, 2005
Police decided to summon the four players.

Dec 14, 2005
Police asked the four Vietnamese members of the coaching board to cooperate for investigation. They are Hoang Gia, Le Thuy Hai, Tran Van Khanh and Tran Hung Cuong. Police also want to question footballer Le Quoc Vuong for more information.

Dec 15, 2005
Assistant coach Le Thuy Hai and footballer Huynh Quoc Anh, as witnesses, reported to police in Ha Noi.

Dec 16, 2005
Police questioned Pham Van Quyen, one of the four suspected players. Quyen said two strange women gave him a sum of money when he was in Ho Chi Minh City.
On the same day, captain Phan Van Tai Em met with police in Ha Noi as a witness.

Dec 17, 18 (Saturday, Sunday)
Police continued enquiring the five suspected players. Police also enquired three witnesses Tai Em, Le Tan Tai and Nguyen Hoang Thuong, who are members of the U-23 team.

Dec 19
Pham Van Quyen said to police that he received an envelop containing more than VND20 million from two strange women on December 6 in Ho Chi Minh City when he was inside a taxi on the way to Tan Son Nhat Airport to fly back to his home town of Nghe An.

Police continued questioning the five suspects: Quyen, Van Truong, Hai Lam, Bat Hieu and Quoc Vuong.

Police met with Le The Tho, vice president of the Viet Nam Football Federation and deputy chief of the Viet Nam delegation at SEA Games 23.

Five football experts from VFF – Le The Tho, Vu Hang, coaches Mai Duc Chung, Hoang Gia and Tran Van Khanh – were invited to the investigation police office to watch the tape of the Viet Nam U-23 vs. Myanmar U-23 match. After watching the game, the five experts said some players did not carry out tactics of the head coach.

Police said they knew that some Vietnamese players were not honest in competing in SEA Games 23 but police let them influenced the results as they wanted so that police could investigate. Police want to discover organized rings, if any.

The Government Office asked the Ministry of Public Security and the investigation police department (C14) to promptly report results of probes in these allegations of match fixing in SEA Games 23.

Media said it is not known where Nguyen Phi Hung is now. Hung used to play for Song Lam Nghe An Club, the club Quyen is playing for now. Many people know that Hung is involved in football betting.
It is reported that Hung is part of the organized ring that influenced the results of two matches: Viet Nam U-23 vs. Myanmar U-23 and Viet Nam U-23 vs. Malaysia U-23.

Dec 20
Tuoi Tre newspaper said it was likely that Nguyen Phi Hung is still in Viet Nam, not being visiting another country as other newspapers reported earlier. Tuoi Tre said Nghe An Province police’s reports show that Hung may be a member of an organized ring in football betting in the province.

Le Quoc Vuong (R) plays for Song Lam Nghe An Club

Police arrested Van Quyen and Quoc Vuong. They were charged with gambling based on football results and organizing gambles.

Dec 21-23
Van Quyen and Quoc Vuong accepted their guilt. They told police how they carried out their plot to influence the result of the Viet Nam-Myanmar match.

Media reported that Nguyen Phi Hung had returned to his hometown of Nghe An. Police ordered him to come to Ha Noi for questioning but he did not appear as requested.

Police decided to further investigate allegations of match fixing related to tournaments in Viet Nam as from 2000 or 2001, and international matches the Viet Nam team have played.

Police summoned six more witnesses:
Ho Van Thu, former coach of the Eastern Asia Bank Club; Le Quang Ninh, deputy coach; Nguyen Hong Pham, goalkeeper coach; Nguyen Dat Hung and Tran Minh Chien, coaches of the junior team; Phan Chanh Giam, director of the Tra Vinh Province branch of the forex company of the bank.

The six people were questioned about alleged offenses by Nguyen Tien Huy, former managing director of the club, who is living outside Viet Nam.

Dec 24, 25 (Saturday, Sunday)
Police kept questioning Pham Van Quyen and Le Quoc Vuong. They told police more about what happened to some players of the Viet Nam team after the Viet Nam-Myanmar match until the final against Thailand.

Dec 26
Le The Tho, vice president of the Viet Nam Football Federation, resigned.

Dec 27
Police continued questioning the suspects.

Dec 28
Players Huynh Quoc Anh and Le Bat Hieu were arrested.

Final days of 2005
Police continued investigation. Probe has been expanded to allegations of match fixing related to players of clubs and the Viet Nam team as of the 1990s.

The Viet Nam Football Federation asked police to probe match fixing scandals as of the 1990s. 

Jan 3, 2006
Police summoned Nguyen Huu Thang, Song Lam Nghe An Club coach, Nguyen Hong Thanh, former team manager of the club, and Nguyen Hoang Thu, former director of the Nghe An Province Sports Department.

Jan 4, 2006
Police questioned coach Nguyen Huu Thang.

A source said the police bureau of investigation has evidence that Thang used money to influence some matches in the premier league in the 2000-2001 season. Then, his Song Lam Nghe An Club became the champions.

Former team manager Nguyen Hong Thanh told police that the club’s management sent VND65 million as a gift to the Ho Chi Minh City Police Football Team but the team’s manager returned the sum back to Song Lam Nghe An.

The Viet Nam Football Federation sent a letter to the police bureau of investigation, saying that it would cover expenses for the bureau to probe match fixing scandals.

Jan 5
Coach Nguyen Huu Thang told police that he used the money to push his club Song Lam Nghe An to the top of the premier league in 2001.

Nguyen Phi Hung

Nguyen Phi Hung, described as a member of a gambling ring in Nghe An Province, was present in the province in the morning.

Pham Van Quyen and Le Quoc Vuong told police that they agreed to fix the Vietnam-Myanmar match in SEA Games 23 at the price of US$110,000. But they had not told who organized this match fixing case.

Jan 6
The Vietnam Football Federation had a meeting to find ways to treat Song Lam Nghe An Club because the club used money to “buy” the championship in 2001.

Jan 7,8 (Saturday, Sunday)
Police summoned five more players and a deputy director of Song Lam Nghe An Club to know more about how money was used to get the V-League championship to the club in 2001. The deputy director is Ho Xuan Chiem. The five players are Nguyen Huy Hoang, Van Si Son, Nguyen Quang Tho, Le Xuan Hai and Dang Duy Ghi.

Police needed to hear the deputy director because former team manager Nguyen Hong Thanh and the Nghe An Sports Department’s former director Nguyen Hoang Thu told police different details about their responsibility in using money to “buy” the championship.

Jan 9
Three U-23 Viet Nam players – Chau Le Phuoc Vinh, Le Van Truong and Pham Hai Lam – were further questioned by the police bureau of investigation.

In the T16 jail, Van Quyen and Quoc Vuong told police that they were controlled by a group of gamblers making money based on football results. The gamblers provided money for Quyen and Vuong in advance, and the players had to fix matches at the bad people’s requests to pay the debts. But Quyen and Vuong had not told their names, citing that the players were afraid of being revenged.

Jan 10
The police bureau of investigation started probe on Dao Nguyen Duc, president of V-League Club Hoang Anh Gia Lai, who reportedly gave bribes to some referees in 2003.  

Jan 11
Police proposed the People’s Supreme Prosecution Bureau to start prosecution on Dao Nguyen Duc for giving bribes to referees.  

Jan 12
Do Thanh Ton, 30, former goalkeeper of Ha Noi Police Club, committed suicide at his parents’ house in Ha Noi. Notably, his older brother Do Duc Toan (nicknamed as Toan coi) and his brother-in-law Vu Manh Hung (nicknamed as Manh beu) are said to be the bosses of football-betting rings in Ha Noi. The former goalie also loved gambling.

Nguyen Hoang Thu, former director of the Nghe An Province Department of Sports, will be suspended from his current position, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Thao (Sports) Magazine published by the Viet Nam Sports Committee, said Huynh Vinh Ai, deputy head of the committee.

Nguyen Huu Thang

Song Lam Nghe An Club’s coach Nguyen Huu Thang was arrested for giving bribes, and deputy coach Nguyen Xuan Vinh was arrested for embezzling his club’s money. In 2001, after Song Lam Nghe An won the V-League, Thang sent VND65 million as a bribe to Ho Chi Minh City Police Club but the team’s management returned this sum. Vinh, who was the chief accountant of Song Lam at that time, took this money and kept it as his own money.

The People’s Supreme Prosecution Bureau decided to begin prosecution on three players Le Van Truong, Chau Le Phuoc Vinh and Pham Hai Lam for being involved in match fixing in SEA Games 23 in the Philippines.

By Tuong Thuy

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