More Vietnam referees confess taking bribes

Two more of Vietnam's top referees have returned bribes paid out by a coach to alter the outcome of pivotal football matches. Referee Nguyen Huu Thanh from Khanh Hoa province turned himself in to authorities on 1 September and returned VND 1.6 million which he declared he had accepted from East Asia Bank-Pomina Steel football club director Vu Tien Thanh, arrested 30 August on suspicion of bribery.

Although the referee’s name has not been confirmed by police, journalists from Thanh Nien newspaper revealed he is a FIFA-ranking referee. The journalists said the referee last week admitted to the Vietnam Football Federation and returned a sum of money he said he had received from an EAB-PS official, confirmed Quang Tuyen, Thanh Nien newspaper journalist.

Nguyen Huu Thanh, he said he had accepted US$100 from Vu Tien Thanh at a party in the city several days before the game between EAB-PS and Huda Hue at HCMC’s Thong Nhat stadium on 2 April, in which the referee officiated. Last Saturday, the referee admitted taking money from EAB-PS but insisted "that it was not a bribe," saying it was only a gift.

Following the game in April, which EAB-PS won 2-1, two assistant referees also working the game, Ba Lam and Thai Thuong Triet, told the VFF that Nguyen Huu Thanh had taken bribes to fix the match, reported VietnamNet newswire.

See also: Opportunity to get rid of corruption (1 Sept 2005) and
V-League and police crack-down on match-fixing (31 Aug 2005)