HANOI, March 3 (Reuters) - Vietnam's football coach has resigned after what he felt was unfair media criticism following his team's failure to retain the AFF Cup in December.
Portuguese tactician Henrique Calisto, whose contract with the national squad was due to run until 2013, was released by the Vietnam Football Federation on Wednesday with local media reporting he would take over at Thai champions Muang Thong United.
He denied his departure had anything to do with salary and said he was disappointed with the media after Vietnam failed to defend the southeast Asian title after losing to eventual winners Malaysia in a lacklustre semi-final.
"Last year, five clubs from Kuwait, Dubai and China offered me higher salaries than what I get here but I refused them," he told Tuoi Tre newspaper.
"But I feel disappointed with some newspaper columns heaping criticism against me and my men. And that is the most important reason for my leaving."
Calisto coached Vietnam's national squad for a year in 2002 and left to help Dong Tam Long An F.C. to two V-League titles. He then returned in 2008 to lead Vietnam to the AFF Cup title.