Lương Xuan Truong - ‘K-League prejudice'

One of Vietnam’s star players during their run to the AFC under 23 championship finals – Xuan Truong has often talked about the prejudice towards ASEAN players in the South Korean K-League. He became the first Vietnamese player to play in the K-league after transferring from Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) to Incheon United for an alleged $300,000 dollars.

However, all hasn’t gone to plan for Xuan Truong since making his dream move to one of Asia’s ‘big’ leagues. Not managing to get much playing time for Incheon only making 4 appearances in 2016 and in his time there he has been quoted as saying the K League is prejudiced towards players with an ASEAN background.

It is said that some of the more old-fashioned Korean coaches see ASEAN players as lazy and undisciplined as well as this they are seen as not being physical enough for the hustle and bustle of the K-league. According to Xuan Truong, these stereotypes held by certain coaches and managers are what is making his chances of getting minutes on the pitch stutter along.

After a terrible time at Incheon Truong then moved to Gangwon on loan but the story has stayed the same, lack of playing time. This time it may not be because of prejudice but because of other players, Gangwon signed the season after their promotion to the K League Classic. Even if that is the case the Truong himself has since been quoted again and again that he still holds the thinks prejudice is the reason for his lack of playing time.

Since then he has captained Vietnam under 23 side to the final of the AFC under 23 championships and was one of the players of the competition. He is well known for his technique, vision, excellent range of passing and free kick ability, all of these traits were shown in abundance during the championships. With Vietnam going further than Korea and out-performing all East Asian sides throughout, will this mean when he returns to his Korean club will enough have been shown to them during Vietnams campaign in China to earn playing time, or will the ‘claimed’ prejudice still hold him back and his development be stunted because of it.  

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