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Vietnamese Football Star Arrested for Match Fixing
Striker Van Quyen is indicted on Dec. 19 for his role in rigging a 23rd Southeast Asian Games
Nguyen Ngoc Trung (ngoctrung)     Print Article 
Published 2005-12-22 11:34 (KST)   
After five days of repeated denial and intense interrogation by police officers, Van Quyen, 20, admitted to collaborating with a local gambling ring for US$80,000. The gang is allegedly masterminded by former national player Nguyen Phi Hung.

The story came to light after several players of Vietnam's U23 team revealed they were lured by Van Quyen to rig the 23rd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games match between Vietnam and Myanmar on Nov. 24.

Forward Quoc Vuong was also arrested for being involved in the case. Other players also face questioning.

The scandal is considered the most serious in the history of Vietnam's international competition.

Quyen scored a historic goal in Vietnam's win over South Korea in a qualification round for the Asian Cup 2004.

The SEA Games -- the biggest sporting event in South East Asia -- is held biannually. The 23rd SEA Games were held in the Philippines. Vietnam's U23 team took a silver medal after a big loss to Thailand.

This has been a disastrous year for Vietnam football as a dozen of referees were prosecuted for rigging matches in the domestic V-League.

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai on Dec. 19 asked the Ministry of Public Security to investigate scandals involving referees, footballers and managers.

Matches between Vietnam and other teams in the SEA drew a large number of spectators from all over Vietnam, and most feel deeply disappointed and betrayed by the national team.

The Vietnam Football Federation has been criticized for its inefficient management over the nation's most popular sport.
©2005 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Nguyen Ngoc Trung

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