AFF Cup: This is what anticipation looks like in football-crazy Vietnam

By Ngoc Thanh, Han Phong   November 15, 2018 | 05:03 pm GMT+7

In Hanoi, passionate fans lined up last Sunday for tickets for Vietnam's upcoming home game in the AFF Cup against Malaysia Friday.

Following the chaos that occurred outside the My Dinh Stadium the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) might switch to selling tickets online if Vietnam enter the semi-finals.

AFF Cup: This is what anticipation looks like in football-crazy Vietnam

Despite the cold and rainy weather on Sunday, fans queue up patiently outside the stadium. Some had even arrived the day before.

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A barrier was installed by security officials two hours before the counters opened at 8 a.m.

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But the barrier collapsed as thousands of people jostled and shoved. Luckily there were no injuries.

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This woman waited in the line since 7 p.m. the day before. She scaled the fence but couldn’t get down because there was no space left on the ground to put her feet.

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A person could buy up to four tickets. After one hour, all 9,000 tickets were sold out.

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The VFF said 1,000 organizations and associations had demanded some 60,000 tickets while the stadium’s capacity is only 40,000.

The tickets are priced at VND150,000, 200,000, 300,000, 400,000 ($6.46, 8.62, 13, 17). The match is Vietnam's second at the ASEAN Football Federation Championship, which is holding group stage matches in all participating countries. It cruised past Laos with a 3-0 win in Vientaine last Thursday.

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Not surprisingly, scalpers have been out in force. They would wait at the entrance and offer higher prices for tickets to people who had not managed to buy them.

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It is estimated that a VND400,000 ($17) ticket could be scalped at VND3 million ($129).

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VFF general secretary Le Hoai Anh said the federation is considering selling all tickets online after the chaos and scalping that occurred at My Dinh Stadium.

He also explained how the tickets were distributed: There were 4,000 complimentary tickets, of which 2,000 were for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF), 8 percent of the tickets (3,200) were earmarked for Malaysian fans and Vietnamese fans got 24,000 tickets. 

The rest of the tickets go to sponsors, football organizations, the national football team, training centers, and referee and officials.

"This tournament is hosted by the AFF, so we have to follow their regulations. VFF has to distribute the complimentary tickets as well as tickets for sponsors and Malaysian fans."

Vietnam will play Malaysia at the My Dinh Stadium in a group A match from 7:30 p.m. Friday. The game will be aired live.

 
 
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