Football: Vietnam defender banned record 28 games for leg-breaking tackle

(REUTERS) - Vietnam international defender Tran Dinh Dong has been handed a record 28-game suspension by the country's football federation after breaking the leg of an opponent in a domestic league match.

The Song Lam Nghe An player was also fined 20 million dong (S$1,200) for the foul on Hung Vuong An Giang midfielder Nguyen Anh Hung, who is expected to be sidelined for a year.

Dong, who is not eligible to return to action this year, said he would appeal against the verdict, which also stipulated he should pay Hung's medical bills.

Song Lam Nghe An coach Nguyen Huu Thang said the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) had not acted fairly in deciding upon the punishment for last week's incident.

"I will fine him if he does wrong. I think the VFF issued the fine under pressure from public opinion, not based on reality," he was quoted as saying by local media earlier this week.

"We will appeal because his absence would strongly affect our name and V-League results."

The VFF said they handed out the record punishment for a local player in order to send a message that similar incidents were not acceptable.

"The punishment is meant to be a warning to players throughout the nation, where violent behaviour on the field has gradually become more popular," the VFF said in a statement earlier this week.

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