Football federation fined as fans burn flares at Asiad 2018

By Nam Anh   October 10, 2018 | 08:48 pm PT
Football federation fined as fans burn flares at Asiad 2018
Vietnamese fans burn flares at a stadium in Indonesia during the Asiad semifinal match between Vietnam and South Korea on August 29. Photo by Duc Dong
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has been fined $12,500 for Vietnamese fans burning flares during the Asiad 2018 semifinals.

The disciplinary tribunal of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said the fine was for violating its code of discipline and ethics and failing to ensure safety and security during the international match.

“If Vietnam continues to relapse, the penalty will be harsher,” the AFC said in a statement sent to VFF.

For Vietnam’s first-ever Asian Games semifinal match on August 29 this year, thousands of football fans in bright red t-shirts with the yellow star, the national flag, banners and drum rolls made their way to Indonesia to cheer the national football team.

The match was played against South Korea.

During the match at Pakansari Stadium, a group of high-spirited Vietnamese fans set off flares in the stands, "seriously affecting security and safety," the AFC said.

This is not the first time VFF has been fined for the fans’ behavior.

Last year, it had been fined $11,000 for local fans setting off flares during the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers against Cambodia at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium.

In 2016, VFF was penalized $38,000 after local football fans threw stones through the windows of a bus carrying the Indonesian football squad to their hotel in Hanoi. The incident took place as Vietnam was competing with Indonesia in the semifinal match of the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

“VFF has several times called on Vietnamese football fans not to use flares, especially at international matches. The act should be condemned,” said Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of VFF.

He hoped such incidents will be not repeated at upcoming international matches, especially the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup scheduled to take place from November 8 to December 15.

It's not clear how the federation is going to contain the celebration, if any. During the recent Asiad, flares were also burned in Hanoi and Saigon as excited fans stormed the streets.

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