By Chris Wright
Vietnamese international centre-back Tran Dinh Dong has been given an enormous 28-game ban by the Vietnam Football Federation for breaking an opponent’s leg during a domestic league game.
Tran, who plays for Song Lam Nghe An in the Vietnamese top flight and has 13 international caps to his name, broke the leg of Nguyen Anh Hung with a mistimed tackle during the latter stages of Song Lan’s recent 1-0 victory over the V.League 1’s bottom club, Hung Vuong An Giang.
There is a video of the tackle in question but we don’t suggest you watch it if you’re of a squeamish disposition…
According to BBC Sport, Nguyen is expected to be out for roughly a year with his injury and the VFF have banned Tran for a similar time frame, with his suspension meaning that he won’t be able to return to action until 2015.
Tran has also been ordered to pay for Nguyen’s medical bills to the tune of 20m Vietnamese dong (approx. £565), though his club have confirmed that they are planning to appeal the ban, with Song Lam Nghe An coach Nguyen Huu Thang telling local media:
“I will fine him if he does wrong. I think the VFF (Vietnam Football Federation) issued the fine under pressure from public opinion, not based on reality.
“We will appeal because his absence would strongly affect our name and V-League results.”
The VFF then issued a counter-statement which read: “The punishment is meant to be a warning to players throughout the nation, where violent behaviour on the field has gradually become more popular.
28-games does seem a little on the, shall we say, excessive side – though, of course, Tran may have sliced Nguyen’s lower leg off with a meat cleaver for all we know.