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7 Vietnam footballers arrested for alleged match fixing

Seven footballers of the two top-flight V-League clubs Dong Nai and Dong Tam Long An were detained on Sunday for allegedly betting on and rigging many league matches.

Five of the seven players who were arrested on July 20, 2014 for allegedly rigging V-League games
Five of the seven players who were arrested on July 20, 2014 for allegedly rigging V-League games

They include six from Dong Nai and the other from the latter team.

Following the arrest, police revealed in a press meeting on Monday that the result of the July 20 match between Dong Nai and Quang Ninh Coal was manipulated. The game ended with a 5-3 victory for the home team Quang Ninh Coal at Cam Pha Stadium.

Though the case is still under investigation, Major General Ho Si Tien, head of the central investigation police department C45, told local media that the players in conjunction with a betting ring based in Bien Hoa Town of southern Dong Nai Province purportedly fixed the results of many other matches.

They are believed to rig some matches for up to VND800 million (US$38,500) each, according to Major General Tien.

Evidence from the most recent match

Right after the end of the Dong Nai – Quang Ninh Coal game on Sunday, police served an arrest warrant at 7:00 pm to detain Tran Van Ba, 29; Nguyen Phuc Thuan, 32; Do Hoang Ha, 27; and Tran Dinh Hai, 25, all of an illegal betting ring, on suspicion of ‘organizing gambling’.

At the same time, police also held the seven players, including captain Pham Huu Phat, Dinh Kien Trung, Nguyen Duc Thien, Pham Luu The Son, Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, and Ha Niem Tien from Dong Nai FC; and Nguyen Dinh Hiep from Dong Tam Long An FC.

The players were arrested for allegedly ‘gambling’ and ‘organizing gambling’.

Police also seized eight mobile phones, three laptops, VND275 million ($13,200) in cash, and some documents as material evidence.

The players and the gambling ring purportedly bet on the goal difference in many matches, regardless of who wins the games.

For the scandalous game on Sunday, the Dong Nai players intentionally manipulated the result so that the gap was two goals. And in reality, Dong Nai lost 3-5 to Quang Ninh Coal.

The players earned VND400 million ($19,200) from the match. The sum would be divided among them, depending on the time each played in the game.

Major General Tien said that some of the players may be additionally charged with ‘bribing’ and ‘receiving bribes’.

Match fixing based on goal differences is more complicated than other forms of rigging because just a group of players of a single team can still manipulate the result of a match, without luring rival team players to join them.

Vietnam Football Federation chairman Le Hung Dung told the media that the uncovering of the match fixing case resulted from the cooperation between the federation and police to ‘cleanse’ domestic football.