As of the 2014 season, each club attending the V-League and the First Division is required to have its own football institute or training center for young footballers from 11 to 19 years old, as stipulated by the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) in its newly-released regulations.
“This should be done for the future of Vietnamese football,” said VFF deputy chairman Pham Ngoc Vien, who composed the regulations.
“There is always a low domestic supply of qualified and young footballers over the last few years.
“Thus, it’s now required that football clubs establish football institutes and have their young players attend young championships,” elaborated Vien.
However, many clubs have voiced their objections due to the practicality of this requirement, though admitting that this is the right direction.
“It will take at least eight to nine years for a club to develop a training system for the U-11 to U-19 squads. So it’s impossible that clubs can make this in the 2014 season as stipulated by VFF,” said Nguyen Hong Thanh, chairman of Song Lam Nghe An club, one of the clubs with the best young footballer training system.
“VFF should have first conducted a comprehensive study of the current 28 clubs on their personnel and facilities.
“VFF should have also worked with the clubs to develop a roadmap for this plan, rather than simply saying ‘you should do this; or else you will be penalized’,” continued Thanh.
At present, only HAGL, Dong Thanh, Khanh Hoa, Binh Duong, Da Nang, Hanoi T&T, and Hanoi FC have relatively good young footballer training system, while others such as Saigon FC, Navibank Saigon, Ninh Binh, or Hai Phong have no or weak system.
“VFF has been doing nothing to help clubs in training young football talents,” complained another club chairman.
Paying fines is even cheaper
Huynh Mau, managing director of HAGL club, blames that VFF pays almost no attention to young footballers.
“[VFF] arranges a timetable for young championships so that the matches only take place at 1pm and 3pm amid the hot summer days, exhausting the players,” he said.
“VFF officials have never observed the tournaments but only shown up to hand out prizes.”
Mau said VFF should implement the young football training task together with the clubs.
“Clubs are willing to pay the VND20-million (US$960) fine for not having their players attend the young championships, since the sum is far lower than the expenses required to train the young footballers.”