Saigon XT threaten to fold after points deduction

Vu Duc

Responding to the VFF decision to dock the club four points, Nguyen Xuan Thuy, chairman of the club, announced on Tuesday that the club will not play out their two remaining V-League fixtures and will officially disband.

The VFF and the VPF, which runs the two professional football leagues in Vietnam, both officially received a document from the club on Wednesday.

Saigon XT were fined by the VFF earlier this week after the VFF’s disciplinary committee confirmed that the team featured too many young players and played well below their ability, especially in defence, during a 3-1 loss against Kienlongbank Kien Giang on August 11.

Saigon XT’s board believes that the club have been treated unfairly by the sport’s governing body. The HCMC-based club, which now faces the risk of relegation following the deduction, denied the accusations and sent a document to the media opposing the VFF’s decision.

The deduction means Saigon XT now drop to second from bottom with 20 points from 20 games. They are now just four points ahead of relegated Kienlongbank with two remaining games of the V-League season.

Under the nation’s rules, if a club quits the league, all of its results will be canceled. If this does indeed happen, then Song Lam Nghe An’s championship bid would effectively be over given the six points they had earned from games with Saigon XT. Then they would move from second to fourth with only 30 points instead of 36, four points behind leaders Hanoi T&T, while defending champions SHB Danang would move into second on 32 points.

Hanoi T&T will be crowned champions if they earn a victory against Dong Tam Long An Tiles in the Mekong Delta on Sunday and SHB Danang lose to ironically Song Lam on the same day, unless there is another dramatic development.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the VFF, Nguyen Trong Hy, said that the club should not arrive at a decision recklessly and urged them to instead lodge an appeal.

If Saigon XT quit the V-League, the VFF’s discipline committee will slap them with a fine of VND100 million (US$4,900) and the HCMC-based team will have to play in the Third Division next season.

Saigon XT were established in 2010 after the group bought Ha Tinh Province’s football team franchise and started in the First Division.

The team were promoted to the V-League in 2011 and finished third in their maiden season in the V-League but they did win the National Cup.

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