Vietnamese soccer coach and referee arrested

Vietnamese police on Thursday arrested a V-League soccer coach and a referee for bribery as part of a widening investigation into match-fixing.

Coach Nguyen Thanh Vinh was taken into police custody in Ho Chi Minh City and FIFA-certified referee Truong The Toan was arrested in Hanoi for their involvement in the scam, a Ministry of Public Security official said on customary condition of anonymity.

Vinh, coach of the East Asia-Pomina Steel team, was accused of ordering his assistant to give bribes of 130 million dong €6,870 to a referee and his three assistants after the Ho Chi Minh City team earned promoted to the top-flight V-League earlier this year, state-controlled media have reported.

Toan was accused of receiving 25 million dong (US$1,600; €1,360) from the team in a separate incident, it said.

Separately, the Vietnam Football Federation on Wednesday decided to suspend Vinh, his assistant and the team's manager from their positions, VFF official Nguyen Hai Huong said.

The federation also suspended 14 referees for their involvement in the scandal, he said. However, VFF is yet to decide whether to it will go through with an earlier threat to relegate the team to the second division.

Last month, the federation fired Vinh from his additional role as assistant to national team coach Alfred Riedl.

In August, police arrested East Asia-Pomina managing director Vu Tien Thanh and referee Luong Trung Viet for alleged involvement in match fixing. Last month, another referee, Le Van Tu, was arrested for allegedly receiving bribes from the team, the AP reports.


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