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Japanese Referee in charge of Vietnamese League for the first time

18 June 2014

Japanese Referee in charge of Vietnamese League for the first time

Thursday 12 June, Sato Ryuji, International Referee/Professional Referee was in charge of the match between Binh Duong FC and Thanh Hoa FC. The match was held in Binh Duong as an official match of the first division of Vietnamese football league.
Japan Professional Football League (J.League) and Vietnam Professional Football Joint Stock Company(VPF) made a partnership deal in 2012 and through this agreement VPF requested J League to send one of its referees to officiate in the VPF. It was the first V-League match with a foreign referee. Japan and Vietnam have a very good relationship in terms of football; for example, J.League matches are broadcast in Vietnam and a Vietnamese player plays in the J.League.


SATO Ryuji, International Referee/Professional Referee, Aichi Prefecture
The match was between teams currently in second and third place which made it a difficult match to referee. I appreciate the players for their fair play, their concentration on the game and accepting my decisions which I usually make in J.League.

I also got to know how popular football is in Vietnam by seeing more than 16,000 passionate supporters made a great atmosphere in the stadium.
Usually, when I work abroad as a referee, I work with a form of a referee and two assistant referees, but this time a fourth official was also included in the match. We tried to have good communication amongst us since before the match started; in fact we could have good control of the match. Using a wireless device for referees was also helpful for us.
It would be nice if we have this kind of experience again in the future.

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