Act now to ensure a healthy Vietnamese football
As the top leader of the Vietnamese physical education and sport service, Minister Nguyen Danh Thai, chairman of the Vietnam Committee for Physical…
As the top leader of the Vietnamese physical education and sport service, Minister Nguyen Danh Thai, chairman of the Vietnam Committee for Physical Education and Sports, stated things should be done immediately to ensure a healthy Vietnamese football.
After the 23rd SEA Games, despite Vietnam finishing runners-up, the match fixing case of some under-23 players has become an urgent issue in the society. This is a challenge to both public security, and the physical education and sports services to observe the Decree N015 of the prime minister on fighting devils in physical education and sport activities. As the top leader of the Vietnamese physical education and sport service, Minister Nguyen Danh Thai, chairman of the Vietnam Committee for Physical Education and Sports, stated things should be done immediately to ensure a healthy Vietnamese football.
From an objective point of view, Vietnamse football has progressed in recent years. The apparatus of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and member organisations have been strengthened and developed in a more professional manner, creating a new factor for a wide development of the sport. Vietnamese football”s level and achievements have improved in Southeast Asian competitions. However, apart from the successes and achievements, some evils, including referee bribery offering and taking, and match fixing, have existed for years, engaging the public. However, these have not been cracked down yet, hampering the development of Vietnamese football. Only recently when the Ministry of Public Security was determined to crack down these devils in Vietnamese football, were some cases brought to light.
The silver medal won by the under-23 football team was the result of great efforts by the coaching board and players. In a context that all teams of the Vietnamese sports delegation exerted great efforts to gain the highest results at a competition despite many difficulties and challenges, the silver medal of the under-23 football team at the 23rd SEA Games, from an objective point of view, was a significant result. Unfortunately, some under-23s were involved in match fixing. This was a real hurt to those who work in the physical education and sports and Vietnamese spectators.
There are many reasons, subjective and objective, for the sad situation. Admitedly, achievement pursuing epidemic” has produced a negative impact on football activities. The epidemic put a great pressure on managers of clubs and teams, leading to match fixing. Also, we have focused only on training coaches and players in skills while we did not provide proper care for the moral, political and ideological education. As a result, players were not fully aware of their code of ethics and easily got involved in devilish acts. Furthermore, the management mechanism, despite being renewed, has not been strong enough to catch up with the development of football. We have approaches on developing a professional football under the socialist-orientated market mechanism. However, clubs are managed with administrative measures, State management has not been separated from football organisation activities. Accordingly, State management agencies continue to manage teams. In addition, the apparatus of clubs and personnel activities still have shortcomings. Part of those who work in Vietnamese football are incapable. Particularly, morality of part of coaches, referees and players has deteriorated.
I think that it is time to take strong measures to renew and strengthen Vietnamese football, building up a healthy and professional football for progressive targets and creating a solid foundation for the development in the coming years. Accordingly, we should do immediately the following things:
Political activities will be organised to unify awareness about strategic opinions, orientations and solutions to develop Vietnamese football in the new context. At all levels, from the Vietnam Football Federation to departments of physical education and sports, clubs and teams, political activities will be organised to discuss and learn about the opinions, approaches and orientations of the Party and State, as well as the physical education and sport services about physical education and sports and the implementation of them in the management and operation of football. Also, responsibilities of each unit in the organisation and management of football activities will be reviewed and evaluated. The Vietnam Committee for Physical Education and Sports, and the Vietnam Football Federation will be responsible for providing guides for the activities.
Adjustments in the organisation and personnel who manage and operate football activities will be made. A perfection and renewal of the management apparatus of Vietnamese football will continue from the central to local levels. Concretely, the following jobs should be done:
The organisation and personnel of the standing committee of the Vietnam Football Federation and football federations of provinces and cities should be reviewed and evaluated.
The organisation and personnel of clubs and teams should be perfected in a professional manner.
Regarding institutions, we should review all the regulations on the management and operation of football activities.
The State management of football should be renewed and boosted, clarifying the State management function and the organisation of football activities and promoting the decentralisation, inspection and supervision of the observation of the regulations.
The operation of referees and supervisors should be reorganised.
The organisation of competitions should be renewed and adjusted, focusing on the reviewing and adjustment of the national competition system and documents.
Advertisement, sponsorship, economic and services, as well as media activities should be boosted.
The management and education of footballers should be renewed. There have been signs of the deterioration in culture and morality of part of footballers. We should admit that the political and ideological education and training of footballers have not been effective yet. These activities should be reorganised as follows:
Examination of culture and morality of footballers will be implemented from junior teams. Conditions for cultural education and training for footballers should be reviewed and evaluated. Also, management and training capability of coaches of junior teams and clubs nationwide should be assessed. Regulations on cultural and moral education and training for footballers should be built and issued. Accordingly, a focus should be given to clarifying concrete standards and conditions. Regular examination and supervision should be made. The Vietnam Committee for Physical Education and Sports will co-operate with the Ministry of Education and Training to discuss and find measures to promote the activities. Cultural training courses should be organised for footballers at all levels: providing an occupational orientation for footballers from an early age. Measures should be taken to promote the education of cultural and sportsmanlike behaviours for footballers. Accordingly, the education of fair-play,” professional lifestyle and awareness should be boosted. It should be determined to remove all players who have shown signs of deterioration in morality, such as smoking, gambling, debauchery, indiscipline, and unsportsmanlike, and those who play only for money but not the pride of the homeland and their teams, from Vietnamese football. Also, disqualified coaches will be removed.
Policies on priorities and interests of footballers should be improved. Accordingly, incomes of footballers should be adjusted, so they can keep their mind on their own jobs. They should be encouraged with the improvement of policies on preferential treatment for those who gain good competition results. These include policies on employment and bonus. However, appropriate measures should be taken when awarding footballers, not encouraging them play with the only motivation of money. At the same time, it should be agreed to remove officials and coaches who appropriate and embezzle bonus as paid to footballers.
The foundation of Vietnamese football, football education in schools, should be strengthened and developed. State management agencies of physical education, the Vietnam Football Federation, relevant agencies and organisations should promote their awareness on developing football in schools to uncover and foster talents for the country. In the short term, the Vietnam Football Federation should develop plans to co-operate with the Programme on Improving Vietnamese physical fitness and form, the Programme on developing physical education and sports at the grassroots level and other programmes of the physical education and sports, education and training services. Activities should be implemented to develop school football in the period between February 2006 and February 2007, focusing on developing strategies and plans for school football in the coming years.
The recent devils in Vietnamese football are real painful lessons for Vietnamese football. They however provide us with a precious opportunity to review and take bold measures to reform the management and organisation of Vietnamese football, developing it in a healthy fashion.
The Vietnam Football Federation and relevant agencies and organisations should develop concrete plans and solutions to strengthen Vietnamese football. Ministries, agencies, People”s Committees at all levels, departments of education and dissemination of provinces and cities should co-operate with the physical education and sports service to launch a campaign on improving the quality of Vietnamese football. The physical education and sports service will issue documents to provide further guidelines about the issues. Also, strategies and solutions will be developed for a good implementation of these tasks.
Nguyen Danh Thai
Minister and chairman of
Vietnam Committee for Physical Education and Sports