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Vietnamese keeper sees value depreciate amid transfer scandal



Vietnamese keeper sees value depreciate amid transfer scandal

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in Muangthong United’s jersey. Photo courtesy of Lam’s Facebook.

The value of goalkeeper Dang Van Lam on German football website Transfermarkt has dropped following contract disputes with Thai club Muangthong United.

The ongoing lawsuit between the 27-year-old goalie and Thai club dragged his values from EUR300,000 down to EUR200,000 (over $243,000). The site also changed his status to “without club.”

Muangthong United has submitted the case to FIFA, saying Lam terminated his contract ahead of schedule.

His contract was to have run until November 2021, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Thai League schedule was changed, forcing foreign players to extend their contracts until May 2022. Due to financial crisis, however, the club handed him a 30 percent pay cut without advance notification, according to his agent, Andrey Grushin.

The club said that they do not owe the Vietnamese goalkeeper his salary and accused Lam of being unprofessional by not showing up for training.

Lam and his agent have said they are ready to fight the Thai club in court.

The losing side will face heavy consequences from FIFA. If the Vietnamese goalkeeper lost the lawsuit, he would not only get a fine, but also face four- to six-month suspension for breach of contract. Otherwise, Muangthong United might get relegated.

According to previous reports, Lam had reached preliminary agreement with Japanese J1 League club Cerezo Osaka.

Russian top-flight club FC Dynamo Moscow and Portuguese side Sporting Braga have since also made offers, with Lam unable to fly to Japan to sign the deal due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

In June 2019, Muangthong United bought Lam from Hai Phong FC for $500,000. Since then, he has made 42 appearances over two seasons.



A family meal: eating culture of Vietnamese



Eating is not only to survive but also a culture. A family meal shows he traditional culture of the people and the region.

Talking besides the food tray

The food tray is the symbol of a family meal. All members of the family gather around it and enjoy the dishes together. In the past, the rich used tray made of bronze while the poor used wooden or a bamboo tray. Today, they round trays are replaced by tables in many places.

A good tray of food was not defined by the quality of the dishes or nice decoration but the quantity of dishes, especially meat and fish. Thereby, all dishes are served at the same time, not one by one like in many Western countries.

In addition, different from the West where everyone has their own dish and eats individually, Vietnamese people have the culture of sharing all the food together.

Sitting position

In the Vietnamese meal, the sitting position is a very important cultural behavior. The best position is for the elders in the house to show the respect of the children. In the past, grandparents and fathers who were considered to take the important role in the family usually sat in another tray, which was put in a higher place in the house while the mothers and children were in another lower one. 

Bon appetit

Vietnamese people usually have a “rule” of saying before and after eating. Consequently, it is mandatory for young people to invite older people to eat at the beginning of the meal. Young people only start eating after the oldest family member takes the first bite. When finished, they should also say that they are done and ask to leave.

All of this is to show the respect and good behavior and education of the young to the old in the family. 

Enjoying the food

In the meal, Vietnamese do not eat too much or too little and neither too fast or too slowly, to enjoy the food as well as to show their education. Furthermore, they usually leave a little bit of food or drink as a sign for politeness as you are not a glutton. 


Like many other Asian countries, Vietnamese also uses chopsticks to pick the shared food in the tray. The use of chopsticks has formed a philosophy for couples and the solidarity. As chopsticks are always used in a pair, they are also a symbol of a couple which should be even for the shape and the size and always go together.

Meanwhile, a bunch of chopsticks is a symbol of community solidarity as one chopstick can be easily broken but it is not so for a bunch.

Moreover, there is a culture in using chopsticks as you must pick the food carefully to avoid falling anything and turn to use another side of the chopstick’s point to pick food and give to others.

A family-gathering meal before Tet holiday is a custom of Vietnamese. Photo: Diep Huong Dao.  

“Dessert” of tea

Different from the West, the traditional Vietnamese meal does not usually have dessert. After the meal is finished, they often have some green or black tea. In fact, tea is one of most indispensable parts of the daily life of many people.

They can have tea after breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, today, modern families also have more option to enjoy after the meal such as fruits, yogurt, cake, and sweet desserts.

Good conversation

Talking during the meal is very common as it is the time for all members to gather together to talk and share about their daily life. It is considered as a good time to be together and tighten the connection and love among members.

Moreover, stories of the family and knowledge of culture, customs, tradition, behavior, among others, are also shared and taught by grandparents, parents to children through meals, making it a very unique culture of each family. Many people still remember stories and advice of their family at meals when they are older and some members have passed away.

Meals also give a chance for friends and relatives to meet and enjoy time together, especially at weekends, holidays or festivals. 



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VN football squad waits for Covid-19 vaccinations



The General Department of Sports and Physical Training has made a list of coaches and athletes who will be given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations in preparation for the upcoming international sports tournaments.

Tiêm vắc xin Covid-19: Tuyển Việt Nam phải chờ

The national football squad of Vietnam.

In 2021, Vietnamese sports and football have many important tasks, especially the 2022 World Cup qualifying in Asia, Olympics, 31st SEA Games, and AFF Cup, among others.

The Government has just issued Resolution No. 21/NQ-CP on the purchase and use of Covid-19 vaccines. The resolution names eight groups of subjects who will be given priority for free vaccinations. The list does not mention sports coaches and athletes.

According to Deputy Director General Tran Duc Phan of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, this agency has just made a list of coaches and athletes who are about to compete at the Olympic qualifying round 2021.

“We have just asked for Covid-19 vaccination for the athletes who are going to compete at the 2021 Olympic qualifiers. For the 31st SEA Games, we have not had a plan. Before the Games, based on the actual situation, we will make specific proposals,” said Phan.

The Olympic qualifier 2021 will continue through the end of May 2021, so the vaccination for coaches and athletes is very urgent. The General Department of Sports and Physical Training is still waiting for approval from the authorities.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Thailand are offering Covid-19 vaccines for athletes and coaches. Indonesia has vaccinated more than 800 people, including staff, coaches, athletes and medical staff who are attending the upcoming SEA Games.

The Vietnamese football team is also waiting to be vaccinated. A Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) official said that VFF had consulted with the General Department of Sports and Physical Training on this issue, but it has not received a response yet.

“The resolution on Covid-19 vaccination does not list athletes, but it does give priority to those sent by state agencies to work and study abroad. So we can understand that the Vietnamese football team competing in the 2022 World Cup qualifier is like going on a business trip abroad. The sports sector will ask for the Government and the Ministry of Health’s approval,” said Phan.

Meanwhile, rivals of Vietnam’s at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers are rushing to vaccinate against Covid-19 for their players. The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) The National News reported that the UAE government has prepared 6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, enough for about 60% of the UAE’s population. The UAE football team is in the priority group for vaccination, as they are on an international mission this June.

Similarly, the Thai team will be vaccinated before the World Cup qualifiers in June, while the group of athletes participating in the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam will also be vaccinated as soon as possible.

In February, the national team and U22 football teams of Indonesia were vaccinated in Jakarta. The Indonesian team is the first rival of the Vietnamese team in the coming 2022 World Cup qualifier this June.

Bang Lang


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National team to head abroad early for World Cup Asian qualifiers



National team to head abroad early for World Cup Asian qualifiers

Coach Park Hang-seo and players in a training session of the national team in December 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

The Golden Dragons plan to head out to UAE, currently the main host contender for remaining World Cup Asian qualifiers, a week early to acclimatize.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teams in group G of World Cup Asian qualifiers will play their remaining games at a centralized venue. Both UAE and Thailand have expressed their desire to host the games, though Asian Football Federation will most likely choose the former since it can fulfill all stadium, training ground, accommodation, Covid-19 prevention and cost requirements.

What concerns Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo the most is the scorching weather in UAE, where the heat and high humidity could fast deplete player stamina. Park wants the national team to train at a location with similar weather as UAE.

However, because of the pandemic, it will be difficult for the squad to train abroad. Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will arrange for the team to go to UAE a week early to acclimatize.

The national team is expected to gather for training in May, when V. League is on break. They will have around a month to prepare for the three big games, with Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on the 11th and UAE on the 15th.

VFF will also propose vaccinating the national team before competing in World Cup Asian qualifiers. Though the first batch of vaccines from AstraZeneca will be administered to prioritized groups on March 8, footballers are not included.

Vietnam is topping group G with 11 points after five games. The Golden Dragons will enter the final round of World Cup Asian qualifiers for the first time in history if they score seven points from three games.


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