Instead of celebrating the champions of this soccer league season, local media have alleged that the winners succeeded with help from their ‘siblings’ who live on the same pocket of a local billionaire.
Saigon Xuan Thanh players show their disappointment after being held to a 0-0 draw by table leaders Hanoi T&T on the last matchday of the 2012 V-League over the weekend. This tie led to the championship of SHB Da Nang who beat hosts XM The Vissai Ninh Binh 3-1 in an away game on Sunday. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Third-placed SHB Da Nang ‘unexpectedly’ won its second league title in three years on Sunday after smashing hosts XM The Vissai Ninh Binh 3-1 in an away game on the 2012 V-League’s final matchday.
But they would not have done so if table leaders Hanoi T&T had not wrestled for a 0-0 draw with second-placed Saigon Xuan Thanh at the latter’s stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hanoi T&T were one point clear of SHB Da Nang and Saigon Xuan Thanh, both of whom had earned 45 points, before the judgment day, so normal logic said that they should have tried their best to win the game against Saigon to secure the title.
Hanoi would have not struggled for a tie if its owner, Do Quang Hien, a banking mogul, did not own Da Nang as well, columnist Huy Tho said in an article published Monday in Tuoi Tre newspaper.
The Hanoi players would have “fought to death” to win the game instead of building a solid defensive wall right from the beginning, Tho wrote.
Hien consistently denies his role as the real owner of SHB Da Nang even though SHB, or the Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank, where he is the board chairman, has fully sponsored the club since the 2007-08 season.
Hanoi were believed to fight for Da Nang in the last match, as TV viewers and live spectators easily realized that the former tried every method to slow the game rhythm and frequently pretended to be fouled to ‘buy time’ rather than rush forward for the championship, Viet Hoa wrote in an article published Monday in The Thao & Van Hoa (Sports and Culture) newspaper.
The writer pointed out a situation in which national squad striker Van Quyet lay down as if he were seriously injured after being sent off by the referee.
Urging from both his teammates and rivals forced Quyet to stand up and walk off the pitch by himself.
Song An, with The Thao 24h (24-hour Sports) newswire, referred to another incident in the last minutes when only one Hanoi striker was seen in the penalty area to receive a corner kick from his teammate.
The set piece should have been a scoring opportunity with more Hanoi players inside the box.
“With this suspicious game, Hanoi T&T spoiled the very beautiful image they have built for the past several years,” Hoa said in his article for The Thao & Van Hoa.
Regular-season matches between SHB Da Nang and Hanoi T&T raised serious doubts as to their credibility, because they took turns winning home games in a very 'strange' way.
League organizers have said they can do nothing about Hien’s ‘dual ownership’, as it is still a regulation loophole.
They promise to fix the situation the next season with modified rules for the top-flight league.
It remains to be seen whether this will happen though, because one organizer reportedly owns parts or all of two other V-League clubs.
And for the organizers’ information, yet another team owned by Hien will play in the 2013 V-League after they finished second in the 2012 First Division.
Source: Tuoi Tre News
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