Vietnam concerned about Tiger Cup sponsorship

Is Tiger Beer planning to abandon the Tiger Cup, South East Asia's much-loved football competition? Vietnam's pro-football newspaper, Thanh Nien, believes that is a strong possibility. Its chief executive, Nguyen Cong Khe (pictured right), has told the Vietnam Football Federation that his company would step in to maintain the event for national football teams in the region and officially proposed to the VVF that it "bring" the Cup to Vietnam.

"If Tiger Beer abandons the event and the Asian Football Confederation and ASEAN Football Federation do not find another sponsor, Thanh Nien newspaper will assume the procurement of sponsorship to keep the event successful, Mr Khe said. And his newspaper reported that VFF leaders "greatly appreciated the proposal and said they would bring the matter to discussion with AFF and AFC".

The VVF's V-League is currently co-sponsored by Number One beverages and local brewery, Laser Beer. The combined sponsorship fee for 2005, according to Nhan Dan delivers between "US$ 500,000 to US$ 600,00". This reportedly allowed for a doubling of the champion's prize from the VND 500 million awarded in 2004 although each V-League club is still to be obliged to contribute VND 200 million to the VFF’s organising board.

In other sponsorship news, the Vietnamese women’s football team won the 2005 International Vietnam Coal Football tournament, an annual event co-hosted this year by the Vietnam Sports Newspaper, the Cua Ong Coal Company and the Vietnam Football Federation. Cua Ong Coal Company finish in second place, Taiwan third and India took the "fair-play" prize.

State-owned Vietnam Television (VTV) is the country's official football television broadcaster covering the V-League (22 matches) and Division 1 (four matches). According to Ho Chi Minh City Sports newspaper, VTV is paying the VFF VND 25 million per game with 50 percent retained by the VFF, 35 percent going to the home team and 15 percent to the visiting team.

Ford Vietnam, the biggest auto joint venture in Vietnam, is the main sponsor for the live television broadcasts of the UEFA Champion League 2005 – 2006 season (21 matches from September 2005 to May 2006) on VTV3. Ford Motor Company is one of four Official Partners of UEFA Champion League (with Heineken, MasterCard and PlayStation2) and Ford Vietnam wants to "emphasis Ford brand with this sound champion league".

AFC discusses football development in Vietnam

The Asian Football Confederation delegation arrived in Vietnam Monday to commence the implementation of the "Vision Vietnam" program. In Ho Chi Minh City, AFC general secretary Peter Velappan (pictured right) made a detailed report to local football authorities on know-how in youth training, competition, administration, field of play, and sports science. He emphasised that a country's football development should include national associations, marketing, grassroots work, coach and referee training, sports medicine, men's competition, women's competitions, Futsal, and media and fan support. In Vietnam, the AFC chose Dong Tam Long An (DTLA) and Song Lam Nghe An as pilot clubs.

According to Than Nien, Mr Velappan also touched on the ongoing match-fixing scam in Vietnam stating that the "best solution for the difficult problem football Vietnam is clearly facing may be to bring in foreign referees to operate the V-League" and advised that "Japan found success with this solution many years ago". Vietnam could have ‘clean’ football in two years if it carries out the “Asia Vision” program and could finish in the top five in Asia after Japan, Republic of Korea, China and Saudi Arabia by 2010, he said.

See also: Vietnam FA and V-League tackle new regulations (6 Oct 2005)