V-League season promises drama, greater professionalism

Published: 24/01/2011 05:00



new season of the national football championship, V-League, begins this weekend.
It is the first time all clubs are now operating as official businesses. It also
marks the biggest-ever prize money for the victory team as well as a TV
broadcast deal with a private company. Viet Nam News spoke to Le Hung Dung,
deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF), about the new season,
the use of sponsorship money and the plans to improve the quality of V-League
and make it more professional.

The new
V-League football season will begin today, Jan 24. The tournament definitely has new
features compared to the 2010 season. Could you tell us what they are?

Game on
: Le Tan Tai of Khanh Hoa
(left) tries to get past Tran Tuan Anh of HCM City team in their V-League match
last year. - File

This is the first
season all 14 participating clubs are recognised as businesses, according to
regulations of the FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Besides that, this
year’s V-League also has other new features. The quality will improve because of
the bigger prize money, which is strong motivation for clubs to play their best.
I think there will be many aggressive matches.

There are also more
matches to be broadcast live than in previous seasons and this will help further
enhance the brand and image of the V-League.

Are there any
changes in the regulation of the number of foreign players on the pitch at one

This year, the federation will apply
the 4-3 rule. Each club will be allowed to register four foreign players on the
team list and they are allowed to field a maximum of three on the pitch at once
instead of last year’s 5-3 rule.

I support the use of
foreign players in the V-League. Not only is it an inevitable trend but it also
brings benefit to Viet Nam football.

Foreign players help
improve the quality of local players, which, in turn, contributed to the
increasingly improved quality of the national team. The evidence is that Viet
Nam are playing well in recent years.

The team no longer
fears taller opponents and can even play with many strong teams from the Middle
East on an equal footing. We have the disadvantages of size and physical
strength as well as a poor training facility.

I think that V-League
is the best foundation for the national team. However, we limit the number of
foreign players playing on the pitch for the sake of the national team. I
support players of Vietnamese origin like American player Lee Nguyen The Anh,
who could receive Vietnamese nationality and play for the national team.

Does VFF has
any policy to encourage clubs to give talented young players more opportunities
to play in order to create sources for the Olympic team in the 26th SEA Games in
Indonesia this year?

VFF will create a
legal framework to encourage and allow clubs to do that but it is the owners and
coaches who have the right to field the players on the pitch. The federation
does not have the right to tell clubs which players they should field.

National football championship kicks off with Ha
Noi derby

The new season of the 2011 national football
championship, Eximbank V-League 2011, will start this weekend with seven
matches across the country.

Some notable first-round matches include
defending champions Ha Noi T&T vs Hoa Phat Ha Noi, Becamex Binh Duong vs
Ninh Binh, SHB Da Nang vs Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

The champions will receive a total of VND3
billion ($150,000), thrice higher than that of 2010. The runners-up pocket
VND1.5 billion ($75,000) and the third team gets VND750 million ($37,500).

In addition, the organisers will also award a
fair play prize of VND200 million ($10,000), and a prize of VND20 million
($1,000) for the best coach of the season.

The best scorer also pockets VND20 million
($1,000), the best fan club, VND20 million ($1,000), and the best team of
the month, VND30 million ($1,500).

The Viet Nam
Export Import Commercial Joint-Stock Bank (Viet Nam Eximbank) decided to sponsor
V-League for three successive seasons, with the sponsorship value of VND90
billion (US$4.5 million). How will VFF use the money to make the V-League

I need to make it
clear that Viet Nam Eximbank will sponsor V-League three successive seasons,
with sponsorship value of the next season being higher than the previous season
by 10 per cent. So the total sponsorship value of all three seasons would be
VND100 billion ($5 million).

After every season,
Viet Nam Eximbank and VFF will sit down and talk about how VFF used the money
and what Viet Nam Eximbank gained from this sponsorship.

The sponsorship deal
will be stopped if it does not bring the desired effect in terms of the
promotion to the bank and if the quality of V-League declines.

The federation will
have plans to use the money it gets from V-League. I am responsible for
financial issues of the federation, so I will ask the general secretary and
related divisions to carefully use the money to ensure that it is used
efficiently and for good purposes.

Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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