Vietnam international defender Tran Dinh Dong has been handed a record 28-game ban by the country’s football federation after breaking the leg of an opponent in a domestic league match.
Dong of Song Lam Nghe An was also fined 20 million dong (£568) for the challenge on Hung Vuong An Giang midfielder Nguyen Anh Hung, who is expected to be out of action for a year.
Dong said he would appeal the verdict which also stated he should pay Hung’s medical bills.
Song Lam Nghe An coach Nguyen Huu Thang criticised the length of the ban, suggesting the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) had been influenced by public opinion.
“I do not take sides with my player,” Thang was quoted as saying by local media.
“I will fine him if he does wrong. I think the VFF 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.”
A novel basis for an appeal, but worth a try when a player is set to be out of action until 2015.
The VFF said they handed out the punishment in order to send a message to players hat such challenges were unacceptable.
“The punishment is meant to be a warning to players throughout the nation, where violent behaviour on the field has gradually become more popular,” the VFF said in a statement earlier this week.