FIFA-accredited referee recognizes attacker

Created 16 May 2012
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 One of the two men who assaulted referee Vo Minh Tri was among a group of Hai Phong’s fans who waved a flag during the football match at Cao Lanh Stadium on May 13.

Referee Vo Minh Tri.


On May 15, two days after the assault, the referee sent a report to the V-League organizing board and the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF). In the report, Mr. Tri affirmed that he did his job well at the game between Dong Thap and Hai Phong.

He said that he did not make mistake when giving a penalty for Dong Thap at the 73rd minute because Hai Phong’s Ansad pulled Dong Thap’s Hai Anh down in the penalty area.

“Goalkeeper Ngoc Tan pushed my face with his hand and insulted me, so I gave him a red card. Dinh Tien Thanh also protested strongly and I withdrew the second red car. Referee supervisors and thousands of spectators can judge me,” Tri said.

In their reports, referee supervisors Nguyen Van Mui and match supervisor Dang Quang Duong also confirmed that referee Tri did her job very well. Mui and Duong were on the same car with Tri when the assault happened.

The same day, the referee worked with police. Tri and several VFF’s officials who witnessed the assault identified one of the two men who assaulted Tri on May 13.

Tri is a senior referee of Vietnam, with 18 years of experience at V-League. Tri won the Golden Whistle 2010. Highly praised as one of the best referees in Vietnam, Tri is usually assigned to work at tense games of Vietnam and of the region.

Tri said that he was afraid of the threat of Hai Phong’s hooligans of killing him if he goes to Hai Phong. “After this incident, I don’t want to go to Lach Tray stadium,” the coach said.

Not only Tri, other referees also don’t want to work in Hai Phong. “The biggest concern of referees like me is being attacked on the way, not at Lach Tray stadium,” said referee Nguyen Trong Thu.

The representative for the Hai Phong southern fan club, Ms. Thanh Huyen said that her club had nothing to do with the assault.

“The 50-seat bus carrying the club members left Dong Thap for Hai Phong at 9pm that day, so we could not attack the referees at 10pm as reported,” said Huyen.

She said that the man in photos might be a staff of the Vietnam Cement Company (Vicem) – the sponsor of Hai Phong FC because he wore a T-shirt with Vicem logo, not the red T-shirt of her association.

Hai Phong FC’s fan association was set up in 2009, managed by the HCM City People’s Committee. Over three months after its establishment, the association was dissolved owing to scandals caused by its members.

The fan association in HCM City has only 50 members.

Meanwhile, instead of showing remorse for their violent action against the referee, Hai Phong's football fans have written on the internet that they feel sorry for not being able to injure referee Vo Minh Tri more severely.

“Bravo Hai Phong fans! But why did you only leave him with a black eye rather than hospitalizing him?” wrote a fan nicknamed Candy.8x on, under the topic titled “Hai Phong fans assaulted referee en route,” posted on May 14.

“You wasted time beating him by only injuring his arm,” wrote another fan nicknamed as Bactocvjai.

“What a good idea. Slap him in the mouth to see if he can blow the whistle any longer,” a fan with nickname Mr.Boom wrote. 

Thaianh031 regretted that the fans had not broken Tri’s leg. “What’s the point of having him wandering on the pitch?”

“Why didn’t you beat Ly (referee supervisor) as well, for the two to be admitted to hospital?” wrote a fan nicknamed NtK. 

Rudely confirming the referee assault on the internet, Hai Phong fans also challenged authorities on the sanctions they may be subject to for their violent actions.

“You may penalize us if we did it inside the pitch. But out on the street, no one can fine us,” commented a fan nicknamed Kaspersky.

“Hey VFF, feel free to fine us. We have nothing to lose, anyway,” Huyetlong wrote.

Hai Phong's southern fan club's representative Ms. Thanh Huyen said that since the fan club is unofficial, the forum websites on the internet are not under Hai Phong FC’s management.


Source: VNN

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