Friday, September 30, 2011

A look over the border

Looks like Phnom Penh Crown won't be playing in the upcoming 2011 BTV Cup (Binh Duong Television Cup) in Vietnam afterall. This international friendly cup competition is held annually in the Go Dau Stadium, the home of V-League team Becamex Binh Duong. The teams for this year's competition have now been announced and the matches begin on 6 October. The teams taking part are: Group A: Becamex Binh Duong, Hai Phong, MSK Zilina (Slovakia), Villa SC (Uganda). Group B: Sai Gon Xuan Thanh, SHB Da Nang, East Bengal (India), Matsubara (Brazil). In 2003 a team under the moniker of Olympic Cambodia took part in the cup competition.
Whilst on the subject of Vietnamese football, their league championship has just come to a close with the Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) team, based in Vinh, crowned as the V-League champions, with a 3-point winning margin over Hanoi T&T. The average attendance for V-league matches during the season was just over 7,000 with Vicem Hai Phong getting the biggest crowds, averaging over 17,000 for each home game. Top scorer was Argentine striker Gaston Merlo for SHB Da Nang, for the third consecutive year, with 22 goals. Navibank Saigon beat the league champions 3-0 in the National Cup Final and now qualify for next season's AFC Cup. However, despite the rapid growth of the sport, with high transfer fees, there is dissention in the camp, with six clubs believed to be threatening a breakaway Super League, citing rampant corruption amongst referees and mis-management by the federation.

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