Saturday, June 23, 2007

Vietnam "reeling" from Asian Cup snub to referees

Vietnam sports officials were reportedly "reeling" after the Asian Football Confederation announced that none of its referees had been invited to officiate in the AFC Asian Cup 2007 next month. "This is bad news and proves that no Vietnamese referee has impressed the AFC. In other words, Vietnamese referees have failed to secure the AFC’s confidence," Nguyen Van Mui, chief of Vietnam’s Board of Referees, told Vietnam Newsagency. However, AFC members defended their decision saying they chose referees because of their experience in the field. "All the referees who have been selected have proved their skills under intense pressure in the past," said Yoshimi Ogawa, AFC’s referee director.

Some 40 officials were selected out of a 60-country pool. None were selected from Vietnam or Indonesia therefore leaving only referees from Malaysia and Thailand to represent the four South East Asian host nations.

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