VFF calls for match-fixing investigation after Suzuki Cup exit

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The Football Federation has called for an investigation into the country’s 4-2 loss to Malaysia in Thursday’s Suzuki Cup semifinal match, local media reported late this week.

Toshiya Miura’s side went into the second leg with a 2-1 lead, but failed to reach the finals against Thailand after a 5-4 aggregate loss.

The home embarrassment saw Vietnam surrender four goals in the first half, including Dinh Tien Thanh’s own goal. Veteran Le Cong Vinh’s brace was not enough to rescue the Gold Stars, and accusations of foul play emerged on social media soon after the final whistle.

“I don’t know what happened,” Miura told Than Nien News following the match. “What’s certain is that the defenders made many mistakes, as did the attackers.

“I take full responsibility for this failure as a coach. The stadium filled with Vietnamese supporters had hope in [our chances], and I hope they’ll forgive us.”

The country’s V-League has been rocked with scandal in recent years; Xuan Thanh Saigon folded at the end of 2013 after having points docked for fielding an uncompetitive team, while Vissai Ninh Binh withdrew partway through the 2014 season after several of their players were arrested and eventually found guilty of match fixing.

In July, six Dong Nai FC players were given confederation-level bans by the AFC for their role in throwing a V-League match in July.

“I don’t know what happened, and perhaps neither does Coach Miura,” VFF chairman Le Hung Dung told Than Nien. “Malaysia were not that great, but we shot ourselves in the foot.

“We will ask authorities to investigate unusual things, especially [the Vietnamese] defence in this match. [They need] to clarify the truth so that Vietnam’s football won’t be damaged further.”

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