Arsenal Caught Up In Row Over Vietnam Tour Sponsor Rubber And Timber Tycoon Duc
Vietnamese rubber and timber tycoon Doan Nguyen Duc, sponsoring Arsenal's tour to Vietnam, "has dismissed allegations his companies are behind widespread environmental and social crimes, and suggested the fact the North London club had made the trip showed they were not that concerned either," according to the AP. Duc said, "You can see that the team have come, can't you. Nothing has happened." The claims made by Global Witness in an investigation of the practices of the business group run by Duc came in the run-up to Wednesday's Arsenal match, "the first by a Premier League team in the country." Some supporters in Britain "have urged the club to sever their links with Duc, one of the richest men in Vietnam," and questioned why the club did not carry out a more thorough check on his business group, Hoang Anh Gia Lai. As well as sponsoring the tour, Arsenal has partnered with Duc, "who is the president of a local team, in establishing a training academy for youth players in central Vietnam" (AP, 7/17).