Vietnam arrests two more players for match-fixing

December 28, 2005

HANOI, Vietnam -- Two more players from Vietnam's national soccer team were arrested Wednesday for alleged match-fixing during the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines last month.

Midfielder Huynh Quoc Anh and defender Le Bat Hieu were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, said an official at the Ministry of Public Security on customary condition of anonymity. The two are being held at a prison outside Hanoi.

Their arrests come a week after two other team members, striker Pham Van Quyen and midfielder Le Quoc Vuong, were arrested on the same charges.

Online newspaper VNExpress quoted Vuong as telling police that Anh and Hieu were given $1,260 each for helping fix the match against Myanmar, in which Vietnam won 1-0. The players were allegedly paid by a local betting ring for agreeing to ensure that their team won by only one goal.

Three other players on the team have also been questioned by police for their alleged involvement.

The latest arrests were another embarrassment for Vietnam's soccer, which has been plagued by corruption and match-fixing scandals in recent years. Nearly two dozen players, referees and sports officials face criminal charges from other incidents in the past year.

Earlier this week, the No. 2 official of the Vietnam Football Federation, vice president Le The Tho, resigned under pressure after being criticized for failing to stop the players from fixing the match.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press