The offer was made prior to DTLA’s match against Fico Tay Ninh in the 17th round of the First Division on May 12, the Long An-based club stated in its document filed to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), and Vietnam Professional Football (VPF), as well as other relevant agencies regarding the accusation.
Specifically, at 12:30pm on May 12, DTLA defender Vo Nhat Tan received a phone call after having his lunch from a man who introduced himself as Trung, a former player of Saigon Xuan Thanh FC.
Trung persuaded Tan that if he performed under his ability in the match, which was set to start three hours later, thus enabling Fico Tay Ninh to win, the managing director of the latter would do the rest.
Trung also added that he had successfully persuaded the referees, and that he would also phone other DTLA players to get them involved in the match-fixing with Tan.
Before the 17th round, Fico Tay Ninh remained at the bottom of the standings as they had only managed to win two out of 16 games, earning a mere 10 points. A victory against DLTA would revitalize their spirits and enable them to fight against the relegation risk.
However, Tan immediately reported the enticement to captain Phan Van Giau and vice coach Ngo Quang Sang, who later told the club boss about the case. The club management officials then phoned the head of the organizing board of the First Division, and the CEO of VPF.
At around 1:30pm, Nguyen Thanh Hai of DLTA also answered a phone call from Trung, with the same number he used to call Tan.
Trung first asked Hai if he was in the main formation for the match, then reiterated his suggestion for match-fixing.
He also said that each player would receive VND100 million (US$4,800) if Tay Ninh won the game.
The call lasted for four minutes and Trung said he had reached an agreement with another player to fix the match.
However, Hai had recorded the conversation, and later sent Trung an SMS message, saying he could not engage in match-fixing.
DLTA eventually scored a 1-0 victory against Tay Ninh, serving as proof that they were not involved in any negative actions.
DTLA demanded that the VFF and relevant agencies clarify the case quickly in order to bring about transparency for their team.
Meanwhile, VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy said on Wednesday that he has yet to receive any document from DTLA, but has already acknowledged the issue.
“This is a serious issue that requires participation from the investigating agencies.
“If there were actually any match-fixing activities, the VFF will enact strict sanctions on those involved,” confirmed Hy.
Suspected brokerage denies charges
Thanh Trung (18) plays in a match under Saigon Xuan Thanh Club. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tuoi Tre contacted the man called Trung via the number he used to call the two DTLA players, and was stunned to learn that he is footballer Nguyen Thanh Trung, whose contract with Saigon Xuan Thanh FC was confirmed by the club as having ended, but the man himself confimed with Tuoi Tre that it is still valid.
Trung first denied having called Tan and Hai, but later admitted to make the calls, but “under a different content than enticing them to fix the match,” he said.
“I have never asked them for match-fixing.
“I’ve no longer paid attention to Vietnamese football,” the 29-year-old said.
Trung said he befriended with Tan of DTLA when they were both playing for Quan khu 9 in 2006, and has since kept regular contact with him.
“I called the two on May 12 to ask if I could play for DTLA next year.
“Our conversations just stopped there and I did not say anything about match-fixing.
“I’m not that foolish,” said Trung.
Trung said he does not know any chiefs from Fico Tay Ninh to act as a brokerage for match-fixing, adding he did not even know the result of the DTLA – Tay Ninh match.