Kuala Lumpur – Suspecting elements of match-fixing, Vietnam is calling for an overall investigation into the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals match between them and Malaysia that was held on Thursday night.
Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) chairman, Le Hung Dung, who was quoted in a report by Thanh Nien News, said it was “incomprehensible” that the performance of the country’s defence team had dropped drastically.
“Malaysia was not that great, but we shot ourselves in the foot,” the daily quoted him as saying.
Dung said the “incomprehensible mistakes and weaknesses” evoked suspicion and wants relevant authorities to probe the case and clarify the truth “so that Vietnam’s football won’t be damaged any further.”
Apart from VFF, many Vietnamese supporters also felt the existence of bribery in the match.
This issue was raised following the sentencing of a Vietnam league player to 30 months in prison in August after being found guilty of match-fixing.
The national team’s coach, Toshiya Miura is unsure why his players’ performance had dropped.
“I do not know what happened actually. What’s definite is that the defence team made many mistakes and also the offence players,” Toshiya told Thanh Nien News in an interview shortly after the match ended.
Toshiya said he took full responsibility over the team’s failure in their loss.
“As a coach, I take full responsibility on this failure. Looking at the stadium which was filled with Vietnamese supporters, I realise their hope in us. I seek forgiveness to all Vietnamese supporters,” he said.
Meanwhile, on social media, a pictured message of a supposedly Vietnam newspaper with the headline “Tiger Eat Us At Home” began circulating on Friday.
However, this remained as a hoax when it was discovered that no newspaper in Vietnam had that headline today.
On Thursday night, the Malaysian national squad Harimau Malaya successfully advanced to the finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2014 after beating Vietnam 4-2 with a 5-4 aggregate during the second leg of the semi-finals.
The match was held at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.