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Friday, August 12, 2022

Vietnam sacking surprises football coach

Goetz is a former Bayer Leverkusen player

Coach Falko Goetz expressed his shock on Friday over the Vietnam Football Federation’s decision to end his contract early after the national team disappointed at the recent Southeast Asian Games.

“I am very surprised by this unexpected decision,” the German told reporters at a press briefing in Hanoi, two weeks after the VFF announced they had fired him.

Vietnam’s under-23 national team failed to make the podium at the SEA Games in Indonesia in November, a disgrace to a country passionate about football but constantly in despair over the poor results of the national team.

“As a coach, I must accept this decision although it’s very difficult for me to respect it,” Goetz said, adding that he was proud of his players and “not totally responsible” for his team’s poor performance.

“Sometimes we have to accept losing to rivals who are stronger than us,” he said.

At the time of his sacking, VFF vice-president Nguyen Lan Trung told AFP that the ultimate responsibility for a national team’s defeat lies with the coach. Goetz’s replacement has not been chosen yet.

According to state media, the VFF will likely pay Goetz $66,000 to end the two-year contract he signed in June.

Goetz, a 49-year-old former Bayer Leverkusen player, became the eighth foreign coach of Vietnam since 1995 after the departure of Portuguese Henrique Calisto.

©2011 AFP

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