HA NOI V-League games last season attracted a record 1.8 million fans, an average of 10,000 fans, said the Viet Nam Football Federation yesterday.
The federation also praised the coaching of Le Huynh Duc of Da Nang and Nguyen Van Sy from Ninh Binh.
Duc, at 37, is the youngest coach in Vietnamese football history. He helped his team win the V-League title after a 17-year wait, while Sy helped Ninh Binh win the First Division title and promotion to the top league.
The Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) general secretary, Tran Quoc Tuan, said football last season was the most exciting he had seen since sport turned professional nine years ago.
"Players scored a total of 548 goals in 182 matches in the V-League, with an average of three goals per game. There was on average more than 10,000 fans attending each game, an increase of 40 per cent on the previous year," Tuan said.
However, he criticised some clubs for not controlling hooliganism better.
"Organising boards in some stadiums did not control crowd violence well. Fans threw bottles and objects onto the pitch and used abusive language towards referees and opposing teams," he said.
"In some crucial games, players feigned injury to waste time, causing fans to become aggressive. The game between Military Zone 4 and Thanh Hoa at Thanh Hoa stadium, which the military team won 2-1, saw players refuse to play on. These sorts of things put Vietnamese football in a bad light.
In V-League games last season, there were 845 yellow and 52 red cards handed out.
Despite the economic crisis, 14 V-League teams spent a total of VND300 billion (US$17 million) this year on players.
Vietnamese footballers were being paid on average between VND10 million ($571) and VND20 million ($1,100) a month a record for football.
Top striker Le Cong Vinh signed a transfer deal worth $400,000 to move from Song Lam Nghe An to Ha Noi T&T. He is also one of the highest paid Vietnamese players, earning VND40 million ($2,400) a month.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai inked a three-year contract with American-Vietnamese Lee Nguyen. He earns $10,000 a month.
On Tuesday, the VFF named Duong Van Hien the best referee of the season after he received the most votes from sports reporters.
It is the third year in a row the HCM City-born referee has won the golden whistle award.
Linesman Nguyen Ngoc Ha from Hai Duong was given the Golden Flag award. VNS