The VFF ban was imposed on 29-year-old Ngo Hoang Thinh, a midfielder of Ho Chi Minh City FC, Vu Xuan Thanh, chief of the Vietnamese football governing body’s disciplinary board, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.

Thinh was required to pay a VND40 million (US$1,725) fine and is not allowed to play football until the end of December 31, 2021, Thanh elaborated, citing local football regulations.

He will also have to pay the medical bill of Do Hung Dung, a 28-year-old ace of Hanoi FC and the national team, the chief added.

Dung underwent a successful 1.5-hour surgery on Wednesday morning, his surgeon in Ho Chi Minh City said, noting that it will take him at least six months before he can probably play professional football again.

Hanoi FC’s doctors had predicted that he would be out for at least one year.

Dung suffered a broken right leg after he was horrifically challenged by Thinh during their clubs’ tie in the fifth round of the 2021 V-League 1 season on Tuesday.

His leg was seen clearly bending in a slow-motion video of the tackle taking place 27 minutes into the game at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi FC’s skipper Nguyen Van Quyet passed a ball from the right flank before Dung took a heavy touch following a rebound from a Ho Chi Minh City FC defender’s header.

Thinh then recklessly thrust both his legs at Dung’s right leg in a horror challenge, leading to him being sent off the pitch.

Dung was seen writhing in agony on the field, surrounded by anxious players from both sides.

Medical staff immediately rushed to the pitch, gave him first aid for a few minutes, and took him to a nearby hospital.

Hanoi FC scored the opener in the ensuing free-kick and went on to win 3-0 eventually.

Dung is an ace in midfield so this serious injury is believed to jeopardize Vietnam’s hope in their critical FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Indonesia, Malaysia, and hosts the United Arab Emirates in June.

Vietnam are leading Group G with 11 points, followed by Malaysia with nine, Thailand with eight, the UAE with six, and Indonesia with zero.

The group winners and runners-up will advance to the third qualification round.

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