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Vietnam now home for retired Nigerian footballer

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After nearly 18 years of living in Vietnam, retired Nigerian footballer Amaobi Honest Uzowuru has found his second home.

Vietnam now home for retired Nigerian footballer
Đặng Amaobi now spends time in training young players in HCM City and also works for several television stations as a football pundit.  — Photo courtesy of Đặng Amaobi

Born in 1981 in Nigeria, Uzowuru first played in the V.League 1 in 2004 and enjoyed a successful career. He gained Vietnamese citizenship in 2011 and began going by Đặng Amaobi.

Following his retirement in 2016, Amaobi decided to stay in Vietnam instead of returning home like many other foreign footballers. He spends time training young players in HCM City and also works for several television stations as a pundit. 

“I played for seven different teams in Vietnam and I liked them all, however, Nam Dinh were the team I loved the most and they still have a big connection with me till now,” Amaobi told Việt Nam News.

“Personally, I don’t have regrets during the time playing in Vietnam because I won trophies, scored goals and made a good living from playing football so I am happy for that opportunity.

“The V.League 1 is changing and improving, the players are more informed and educated about the modern game and they are becoming more professional. I see the gap between local players and foreign players is becoming very close,” Amaobi added. 

Amaobi was introduced to Vietnamese football through his agent while he was playing in South Africa.

After joining Nam Dinh in 2004, Amaobi helped his team finish second and was the league’s top scorer with 15 goals.

“After my first successful season with Nam Dinh, I decided to seek more contracts and to keep playing in the league because I liked the league, food, weather, fans and culture,” said Amaobi.

After the 2004 season, Amaobi became one of the league’s best-paid and most coveted foreign stars. He played for seven Vietnamese clubs, including two spells each at Nam Dinh (2004, 2009), SHB Da Nang (2005, 2008) and Binh Duong (2006-2007, 2010). 

“Playing abroad is the dream of every young Nigerian football player. I was lucky to play in so many countries from Europe to Asia and Vietnam so I have learned so many cultures, experiences and new things about life,” said Amaobi.

Vietnam now home for retired Nigerian footballer
Đặng Amaobi (centre) plays for Thanh Hoa in the V.League 1. — Photo bongdaplus.vn

Enjoying life in Vietnam

Amaobi said that his wife and children currently live and work in South Africa, but he doesn’t go there with his family.

“I have lived and played in Vietnam for nearly 20 years, so I love this country very much. This place is like my home country Nigeria.

“However, to be honest, if I return to Nigeria or South Africa now, it would be very difficult to find a job and I don’t know what I would do because I only know football.

“Meanwhile, I already have Vietnamese nationality, it’s much easier to find a job here and I can follow my passion for football.

“Therefore, my wife and children support me and every year we still see each other regularly during the holidays,” Amaobi said.

Amaobi said he feels very comfortable living in Vietnam because the people are friendly, the country is safe, it’s easy to live in, and there is no discrimination.

“I have lived and worked in many countries, but nowhere is as happy as Vietnam. I live comfortably as at home,” said Amaobi.

After retiring, Amaobi started coaching children and has been working at Luu Ngoc Hung Football Centre and his own centre for five years. In addition to football skills, he also teaches young players about professionalism.

“Besides, I also participate in sports TV shows as a guest and work with my brother in business. We know the demand of consumers in Nigeria, find the corresponding products in Vietnam and send them home,” Amaobi added.

Vietnam now home for retired Nigerian footballer
Đặng Amaobi (left) seen in a training session for Lưu Ngọc Hùng Football Centre. — Photo courtesy of Lưu Ngọc Hùng Football Centre

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Amaobi liked sitting in street food stalls and ordering food like any other Saigonese person. He also loved to talk with the shop owners about Vietnamese and international football.

“The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone, but the Vietnamese Government is trying to control it well. So I hope we all can work together and defeat the pandemic so everyone can go back to their normal life and job,” said Amaobi.

Source: Vietnam News

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/entertainment-sports/vietnam-now-home-for-retired-nigerian-footballer-756244.html

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First win for Vietnam at Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone

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The Vietnamese tennis team got off to a perfect start at the 2021 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group III tournament in Jordan after a 2-1 win over Pacific Oceania in their Pool B opener on September 15.

Vietnamese players in red jerseys at the 2021 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group III

Vietnamese players in red jerseys at the 2021 Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Zone Group III
 

The team representing Pacific Oceania is made up from various national teams from the Oceania region, except for Australia and New Zealand, including Colin Sinclair who currently ranks 723rd in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) rankings, the highest place in the tournament.

In the first singles match, Trinh Linh Giang handled Mainguy Clement 4-6, 6-3, and 7-5 in three sets, putting Vietnam 1-0 in front.

The second singles clash saw Colin Sinclair of Pacific Oceania overwhelm Vietnamese star Ly Hoang Nam 4-6, 6-4, and 4-6 in three sets, earning an equalizer.

In the doubles match, Ly Hoang Nam/ Le Quoc Khanh defeated pair Colin Sinclair/ Baudinet Brett to go 2-1 up.

Next up for Vietnam will be a clash against Qatar on September 16 afternoon.

Source: VOV

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/entertainment-sports/first-win-for-vietnam-at-davis-cup-asia-oceania-zone-775390.html

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Vietnam national tennis team claim first Davis Cup win

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Vietnam national tennis team claim first Davis Cup win

Vietnam players celebrate after the victory over Pacific Oceania in Davis Cup on September 15, 2021. Photo by Vietnam Tennis Federation


Vietnam won 2-1 against Pacific Oceania on the first day of Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zone matches Wednesday.

Trinh Linh Giang played first, facing Mainguy Clement. Giang let Clement win the first set, but came back stronger in the next two sets to claim victory.

In the second match, the key player of Vietnam, Ly Hoang Nam, battled Colin Sinclair, the star of Pacific Oceania. Sinclair won the first set and Nam equalized, but the Vietnamese lost in the last set.

After two matches, the score was 1-1 and the result was decided by the final match, as Nam and Le Quoc Khanh played Sinclair and Baudinett Brett in the doubles. The Vietnamese players won the first set, before Pacific Oceania equalized. In an intense third set, Nam and Khanh wrapped it up with a triumph. Overall, Vietnam won 2-1 after 7.5 hours of competition with Pacific Oceania.

This victory pushed Vietnam to the top of their group. The team will play Qatar on the second day Thursday.

Previously, Vietnam had been chosen to host group three of the Davis Cup Asia-Oceania zone. But because of the ongoing Covid-19 wave in the country, the International Tennis Federation instead appointed Jordan as host.

Source: https://e.vnexpress.net/news/sports/vietnam-national-tennis-team-claim-first-davis-cup-win-4357399.html

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Hải Phòng FC proposes plan to organise World Cup qualifiers matches at their stadium

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Hải Phòng FC would like to host Việt Nam’s matches team in the final round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers campaign at Lạch Tray stadium after international media complained about the grass quality at Mỹ Đình stadium. Photo courtesy of Hải Phòng FC

HẢI PHÒNG — Following complaints about the state of the pitch at Việt Nam’s national stadium, Hải Phòng FC is offering to host the next round of World Cup qualifier games.

After the loss to Australia last week, the condition of the pitch at Mỹ Đình was heavily criticised.

Now Hải Phòng FC president Trần Văn Hoàn, has written to the People’s Committee and Department of Culture and Sports of Hải Phòng, asking to work with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) on the possibility of Lạch Chay stdium hosting the matches against Saudi Arabia on November 16 and China on February 1.

In the proposal, the club says they believe that organising Việt Nam’s matches on low quality grass surface such as Mỹ Đình will affect the professional quality of the game as well as the image of the country.

VFF board members said that they have not yet received the proposal from Hải Phòng. However, the possibility of the national team playing at Lạch Tray is low due to many regulations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Rules state the stadium must be near an international airport so that the visiting team can minimise the travel distance, be close to a five-star hotel to ensure safety and have training facilities nearby.

After the 1-0 victory against Việt Nam, Australian coach Graham Arnold complained about the grass of Mỹ Đình, saying it had detrimental effect on his team’s performance.

Australian media even compared the stadium surface to a “cow paddock”.

Mỹ Đình Stadium is a non-business unit under the management of the General Department of Physical Education and Sports. VFF has to pay a fee every time the national team plays there.

Addressing the criticism of the pitch, director of the Mỹ Đình National Sports Complex Nguyễn Trọng Hồ said: “The grass is still good as AFC has checked and assessed the pitch to be of good quality, thereby allowing the match to be held.”

Currently, Hải Phòng FC is waiting for the permission of the People’s Committee and the Department of Culture and Sports of Hải Phòng city to work with VFF. If this is approved, the representative of the club will send an official letter to VFF.

Lạch Tray stadium used to be considered one of the low-quality stadiums in Việt Nam. However, the team has just invested to improve the grass, lights and facilities.

In the 2022 World Cup third round qualification, Việt Nam are still to win a point after two defeats to Saudi Arabia and Australia and are only above the bottom team China in group B thanks to a better goal difference.

The team will return to training on September 16 to prepare for the two away matches against China and Oman in October.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/sports/1032196/hai-phong-fc-proposes-plan-to-organise-world-cup-qualifiers-matches-at-their-stadium.html

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