VietNamNet Bridge – The People's Court of Ninh Binh Province on Monday sentenced Tran Manh Dung, former player of Vissai Ninh Binh FC, to 30 months in jail on charges of gambling. Eight other players in the same club were granted suspended sentences ranging from 24 to 27 months.


Defendant Tran Manh Dung.

The nine players who were sentenced yesterday include: Le Quang Hung, Le Van Duyet, Nguyen Gia Tu, Nguyen Van Hung, Chu Ngoc Anh, Phan Anh Tuan, Nguyen Manh Dung, Pham Xuan Phu and Tran Manh Dung.

Of them, Tran Manh Dung, Nguyen Manh Dung, and Phan Anh Tuan have been in detention since April and the remaining have been free on bail. The 10th defendant - the bookmaker Dao Duc Loi - a resident in Hai Phong, received 30 months in jail for "organizing gambling" and fined $1,000.

The other two players of Vissai Ninh Binh - Hoang Danh Ngoc and Bui Van Ha – and representatives of the club were summoned but they were absent for the reason that they were busy at a tournament. According to the court, this did not affect the trial process.

According to the indictment, the nine footballers jointly placed an elaborate bet with Dao Duc Loi. The scheme began when Nguyen Manh Dung and Tran Manh Dung enlisted other players to bet on the point spread in their match against Malaysia’s Kelantan on March 18.

Tran Manh Dung reportedly invited Loi to Ninh Binh to discuss the scheme over dinner with Nguyen Manh Dung. The two Dungs allegedly plotted the scheme with seven other players during various meetings held in Vietnam and Malaysia ahead of the match.

Eventually, they placed a bet of VND1.02 billion with Loi via text message. Vissai Ninh Binh defeated Kelantan 3-2 and the players won VND850 million.

Loi sent them their winnings after they returned to Ho Chi Minh City. The players had split the money before handing it all over to the police.

Vissai Ninh Binh has withdrawn from the V-League 2014 but continues to play in the AFC Cup, where it lost 4-2 at home to Hong Kong's Kitchee last week in the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal return leg will be played in Hong Kong on Tuesday.

In 2005, a group of national team players were convicted of fixing an international match.

VNE/Thanh Nien/VNN