Three football clubs fight over one stadium in Hanoi

By Hieu Luong   March 18, 2024 | 11:32 pm PT
Three football clubs fight over one stadium in Hanoi
A view of Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Hanoi FC, Cong An Ha Noi, and The Cong Viettel are all unwilling to leave Hang Day Stadium in Hanoi, although the Asian Football Confederation ruled that each stadium must be limited to two clubs.

Starting from October 2023, according to AFC regulations, a stadium is only allowed to be used by a maximum of two clubs in a national league. Hang Day violates the regulations as it is currently the home stadium of the three V. League clubs.

The AFC has sent a warning that fewer Vietnamese clubs will be able to qualify for the AFC Champions League next year if this situation is not resolved.

Upon receiving the warning, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) notified the three clubs but no solution has yet been found.

Last week, a meeting between representatives of the three clubs, the VFF and league organizer Vietnam Professional Football (VPF) was held in Hanoi. However, the meeting ended after only an hour without any agreement reached.

The three clubs maintained their stance of wanting to continue using Hang Day Stadium as their home ground. CAHN and Viettel said their histories are deeply rooted within Hanoi football while Hanoi FC said that since their establishment in 2006, they have won many titles and also spent the most money maintaining and renovating the stadium.

VFF vice president and VPF president Tran Anh Tu said all three clubs have their perspectives. However, he is also concerned that if these clubs keep using the same stadium, it will affect the long-term development and interests of Vietnamese football in Asia.

"The best thing to do right now is to sit together and come up with a solution," Tu told VnExpress.

VFF general secretary Duong Nghiep Khoi said: "Some facilities at Hang Day Stadium have been degraded, including the lighting system. If it’s not upgraded in time and doesn’t meet the requirements of AFC, none of these clubs will be allowed to play here anyway."

Hang Day Stadium is currently under the management of the Department of Culture and Sports Hanoi. However, Khoi said that the department and Hanoi People's Committee haven’t come up with a solution.

An aerial view of Hang Day Stadium in 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

An aerial view of Hang Day Stadium in 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

A number of options were raised at the meeting, such as forcing the club with the poorest record at the end of this season to leave the stadium. However, no option received an agreement from all three clubs.

"We are also asking AFC for more time so that the three clubs have time to resolve this matter," Khoi added.

In addition to Hang Day Stadium, Hanoi also has My Dinh National Stadium. However, Hang Day is preferred as it is located in the center of the capital and the rent is low, typically VND70-100 million compared to up to VND250 million per match at My Dinh. For international games, Hang Day does not meet the standards and football teams in Hanoi have to use My Dinh Stadium as the venue.

Another location mentioned is Ha Dong Stadium, which was renovated and upgraded in 2022. However, it still does not meet criteria in terms of stands, function rooms, and lighting system. Any club that want to use this stadium must spend their own money to upgrade.

Hang Day Stadium was inaugurated in 1934 and it used to be the national stadium before the construction of My Dinh. After many expansions, the stadium has a capacity of about 25,000 but part of it has deteriorated, making the second floor of stand B unusable.

In 2018, Hanoi and T&T Group planned to invest more than VND6 trillion to build a Hang Day Stadium sports complex, including a multi-purpose gymnasium and an office building. The project was intended to be used for SEA Games 31 in 2022 along with top cultural and sports activities in Hanoi. However, due to many problems, it was not implemented.

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