The troubled Vietnamese side who had players admitting to fixing a match have been handed the support of AFC to continue their AFC Cup campaignThe Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have lent their support to V-League club Vissai Ninh Binh, who just last week found their players guilty of fixing a match with at least several more under suspicion.
Goal understands that Ninh Binh, who withdrew from the V-League, have begun preparations for their next AFC Cup game, an away tie on April 22 against Yangon United.
Goal had earlier reported that 11 players from Ninh Binh have admitted their involvement in a scam involving illegal bets placed on the outcome of the AFC Cup match against Kelantan on March 18. Nine have since been remanded by the police with the other two who received the payout from the scam but did not participate in the fix, having been released. The duo have also rejoined the team in their most recent training session.
Other matches involving the club have also come under scrutiny resulting in the withdrawal from their domestic league.
Vissai Ninh Binh owner, Hoang Manh Truong confirmed that the team will not complete their V-League commitments this season but will continue in the AFC Cup.
"The team have definitely stopped playing in the V-League this season," Hoang told reporters in Vietnam. "In the coming time, we will focus on training young players to return to the V-League as soon as possible."
"We will continue participating in the AFC Cup. Ninh Binh has recalled uninvolved players to resume training."
He also added that the Vietnamese Football Federation (VFF) have assured Ninh Binh of their continued participation in the AFC Cup with the regional governing body looking send their administrators to assist in investigations as well.
"VFF president Le Hung Dung told me the AFC backed Ninh Binh in this situation (the fight against match-fixing) and our club would not be punished," Hoang said.
"The AFC are going to send commissioners to help us handle everything in the best way. It is likely we will continue playing in the AFC Cup for the sake of national honour."
UPDATE April 14 2251hrs: VFF have officially confirmed that Ninh Binh have pulled out of the V-League but wish to continue in the AFC Cup. A meeting will he held on Wednesday to decide the next course of actions. Following that, a report will be sent to the AFC.