Most foreigners in V-League no good, says coach

Vietnamese football is struggling to improve because of an influx of foreign players, according to the national team's Austrian coach. "The young players are suffering, and it's not good for the national team," Alfred Riedl, currently in his third stint as the team's boss, told Martin Petty of Reuters. "Vietnam has no reserve leagues and no youth leagues. A lot of talented players don't get the chance to play at all. Some of my national team players aren't playing regularly for their clubs."

The V-League currently allows teams to name five foreign players in their squad for each match but Riedl, 57, said players were imported because of their size and strength rather than their skill. "Most of the foreign players aren't good, they're just taller and more powerful -- they aren't better footballers than the Vietnamese. This is not good for my team and not good for developing local players," he said.

"The former Austria Vienna, FC Metz and Standard Liege striker is hugely popular in Vietnam having taken the national side to silver medals in the 1999, 2003 and 2005 South East Asian Games. Riedl was previously sacked for speaking out against the country's state-run soccer federation, which has hired and fired six foreign coaches in as many years," Martin Petty reported.