Player suspended for match-fixing in Vietnam

May 22, 2006

HANOI, May 22 (Reuters) -- A Vietnamese soccer player has been suspended from the 2006 first division championship for attempting to fix a match, an official said on Monday.

Nguyen Van Hieu from the Tay Ninh Club contacted Tran Van Hieu, a player for the Quang Nam Club, seeking his help to fix a match between the two clubs on May 6.

Tran Van Hieu reported the proposal to his club managers.

'Even though Nguyen Van Hieu's plan never materialised, he should be punished for having the thought of match-fixing,' an official from the Vietnam Football Federation told Reuters.

Hieu denied the charge saying he was just teasing his friend.

The federation also levied a fine of 15 million dong ($940) for the offence.

Sports authorities in the communist-run country have been cracking down on rampant match fixing in soccer.

Last year police pressed criminal charges against around 20 referees, players and sports officials for match-fixing.