Early Doors

Defender slapped with 28-game ban for breaking opponent’s leg

Early Doors

One of the most hotly debated topics in football is the severity and consistency (or lack thereof) of player suspensions.

For nasty challenges it is never quite clear how hard the authorities should clamp down on players, but in this case there was no compromise whatsoever.

During a Vietnamese league match in February, Song Lam Nghe An defender Tran Dinh Dong put in a crunching tackle on Hung Vuong An Giang midfielder Nguyen Anh Hung.

Nguyen broke his leg and will be out of action for up to a year, but his assailant will also be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines as the Vietnam Football Federation has handed him a hefty 28-game ban.

It really is hard to know if it was justified or not given the seriousness of the injury sustained and the length of the lay-off.

The 26-year-old defender was also fined 20m dong (£650) and ordered to cover Nguyen's medical costs.

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The BBC quotes a VFF statement which explains the reason for the exceptionally harsh ban:

"The punishment is meant to be a warning to players throughout the nation, where violent behaviour on the field has gradually become more popular."

Clearly, this punishment will be a deterrent, but it is a startling reflection of the inconsistency of bans in football.

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Apparently a leg-breaking challenge is worth the same penalty as nearly six Nicolas Anelka anti-Semitic gestures.

Luis Suarez was famously banned for eight games for racially abusing Patrice Evra, while Nicklas Bendtner was rapped with a one-match ban but an £80,000 fine for sporting sponsored underwear at Euro 2012.

So was this 28-game ban justified or was it far too severe? Post your comments below...

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