Ngo Hoang Thinh, a 29-year-old midfielder of Ho Chi Minh City FC, horrendously fouled Do Hung Dung, a 28-year-old midfielder of Hanoi FC, during their clash in the fifth round of the V-Leauge 1 on the former’s soil.

Twenty-seven minutes into the game, Thinh jumped in recklessly and lunged right in on Dung’s ankle, causing it to buckle at sickening impact, after a heavy ball touch from the Hanoi FC player.

The slow-motion footage from a live feed showed just how nasty the challenge and subsequent injury were.

Many international sports news sites, including GiveMeSports, Marca, AS, and SPORTBible, have covered the incident, using words deemed as a rebuke of Thinh.

SPORTBible called his tackle “one of the worst we have seen for a long, long time,” while Marca headlined their article, “A hard to watch horror tackle in Vietnam.”

GiveMeSports described it as “a truly horrendous challenge,” and AS named it “a hard to watch horror tackle in Vietnam.”

Netizens in Vietnam have taken to social media to criticize Thinh’s horrifying play.

“What a vicious tackle. Looks like he wanted to knock him down,” a Facebook user named Tien Minh commented under the incident footage shared on the social networking site.

“It’s murder, not football,” another user, Thanh Vu, commented below Tien Minh.

Hanoi FC’s midfielder Do Hung Dung is pictured on his bed at Van Hanh General Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on the night of March 23, 2021. Photo: Hanoi FC

Hanoi FC’s midfielder Do Hung Dung is pictured on his bed at a hospital in Ho Chi Minh City on March 23, 2021. Photo: Hanoi FC

“What’s left for his career now,” wrote Do Thanh Tuyen as he showed concerns for Dung’s health condition and that he would be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“The kick was so cruel, [he] should be banned for life. It’s a football field, not a boxing ring,” reads another comment by Hoang Long Tran, suggesting a heavy punishment for Thinh.

Even the supporters of Ho Chi Minh City FC disapproved of their player’s tackle.

“Hoang Thinh, you should take a break to self-review your behavior,” Ky Nguyen wrote on the club’s verified Facebook page.

The Vietnam Football Federation on Wednesday banned Thinh from football until the end of December 31 this year, Vu Xuan Thanh, chief of the Vietnamese football governing body’s disciplinary board, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper the same day.

Thinh was required to pay a VND40 million (US$1,725) fine and Dung’s medical bill as well, Thanh added, citing local football regulations.

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.

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