March 16, 2006

Vietnamese former sports official, coach prosecuted for bribery
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A former director of a provincial sports department and a former head coach of a club in Vietnam have been prosecuted for giving bribes during the 2000-2001 national soccer tournament, local media reported Wednesday.

Local police on Tuesday prosecuted Nguyen Hoang Thu, director of the Sports Department of central Nghe An province, and Nguyen Thanh Vinh, head coach of the Pjico Song Lam Nghe An club based in the locality at that time, who directed their subordinates to bribe the club’s opponents, helping it easily win the tournament, Youth newspaper said.

Earlier, Vietnam’s National Sports and Physical Training Committee decided to suspend Thu from the current post of deputy editor-in-chief of Sports Magazine, saying the suspension would help him focus time on working sessions with local investigators over the club’s wrongdoing during the tournament.

Following the instruction of Thu, Vinh and the Nghe An-based club’s manager named Nguyen Hong Thanh, the team’s captain Nguyen Huu Thang, who later became its coach assistant and then head coach, gave 300 million Vietnamese dong (nearly 18,800 U.S. dollars) to a player of the Saigon Port Club based in southern Ho Chi Minh City to fix a match.

Last week, the player of the Sai Gon Port, striker Truong Tan Hai, was prosecuted and detained for taking bribes. Local police are investigating into Hai’s teammates as well as other clubs that might have involved the case, said the report.

Earlier, Nguyen Huu Thang and Nguyen Hong Thanh were also prosecuted for giving bribes.

Local police have recently detected many cases, in which local clubs bribed referees and their opponents so that they got promoted, won championships, or did not have to be relegated in national tournaments.

Since August 2005, they have uncovered over 50 local corrupt referees, as well as managing directors and coaches of some clubs.

Source: Xinhua


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