29 December 2009

No restriction on naturalized players

VietNamNet Bridge – One month after the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) issued a resolution that sets limits on using naturalized players the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that VFF’s rules are illegal.

A dispatch signed by Deputy Minister of Justice Dinh Trung Tung, sent to the VFF, said that VFF’s resolution dated November 18 which stipulates that each club is allowed to use only one foreign player who is granted the Vietnamese citizenship at a time in a match, is at odds with Vietnam’s Constitution, the Nationality Law, the Labour Code and the Law on Physical Training and Sports.

Deputy Minister Tung affirmed that according to the Constitution and a number of other laws, people who have Vietnamese nationality are Vietnamese citizens and all citizens are equal in law.

“The VFF’s regulations have restricted the civil rights. The Ministry of Justice asks the VFF to amend its resolution to fit the current laws,” the dispatch said.

Nguyen Van Toan, vice chief of the Ministry of Justice’s Judicial Administration Department, told VNExpress newspaper that although VFF has the right to make decisions based on its members’ agreements, the regulation restricting the number of naturalized football players is inappropriate.

“Foreign football players who have Vietnamese nationality must be treated equally as all other Vietnamese citizens,” Toan stated.

As it now stands, the rules on using foreign players in the 2010 football season will now not change. Specific regulations for the next football season will be announced on January 1 2010.

The VFF’s regulations on confining the number of naturalized players had been protested by many football clubs, coaches and players. Some foreign players who had been granted Vietnamese citizenship threatened to sue the VFF if the regulation had been implemented.

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