Two former Vietnamese footballers were given on Friday jail sentences for fixing an international match.
|The defendents at the court (Photo: SGGP)|
Six other players, including popular striker Pham Van Quyen, received suspended prison sentences at the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court. The trial took place on Thursday and Friday.
The eight were found guilty of match fixing to ensure they beat Myanmar by no more than 1-0 in November 2005 at the Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
|Le Quoc Vuong in a moment at the court (Photo: SGGP)|
Le Quoc Vuong, a midfielder in the Vietnamese U-23 team at that time, was jailed for six years for “organizing gambling” and “gambling”.
Six other players in the team – striker Pham Van Quyen, Huynh Quoc Anh, Le Bat Hieu, Chau Le Phuoc Vinh, Le Van Truong and Tran Hai Lam – were given suspended sentences of from two years to two and a half years for “organizing gambling”.
A former Saigon Port Club player, Truong Tan Hai, was given a three year sentence for “organizing gambling” because he acted as a middleman between the team and a local betting ring.
Lawyer Nguyen Dinh Tho who represented Le Quoc Vuong in court said he would lodge an appeal.
Defendants’ final words
Le Quoc Vuong: during the temporary detention, I was very repentant for what I have done. I wish chances to redeem myself.
Truong Tan Hai: Judges and football fans, please forgive me. Judges, please consider difficulties in my family. My wife just undertook a second heart operation and my three children are still little kids.
The other six defendants also showed their repentance and promise to become good citizens.