500 cops to prevent V. League 1 flare-up

By Hoang Nguyen   July 14, 2020 | 05:12 am PT
500 cops to prevent V. League 1 flare-up
Flares thrown down the field during the V. League 1 game between Hanoi and Hai Phong on April 21, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Security will be strengthened ahead of the highly anticipated V. League 1 game between Hanoi FC and Hai Phong FC to guarantee spectator safety.

In last year’s clash between the two clubs at Hanoi FC’s Hang Day Stadium, smoke from flares lit by some Hai Phong fans caused the game to pause for 10 minutes. Both clubs were fined VND70 million ($3,024) for the incident.

To prevent a reoccurrence, local authorities plan to deploy about 500 police and security staff at the match, scheduled for Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Each fan entering the stadium will have to pass through a security scanner, with additional personnel stationed on the sidelines and stands to keep an eye on unruly individuals.

Speaking to the press, Lieutenant Colonel Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy commander of the Mobile Police Regiment said: "The force will immediately detain those disturbing the game by setting off flares and causing injuries to others."

In addition, Hanoi police will use surveillance cameras to identify possible culprits inside the stadium, strictly punishing anyone who steps out of line.

League games between Hai Phong and Hanoi often feature unruly conduct. In 2017 V. League 1, Hai Phong had to play one match without spectators after the latter disrupted a clash with Hanoi. When the clubs met again in the second leg, a rain of flares and water bottles inundated at Hanoi's My Dinh Stadium. In the 2018 season, Hai Phong were again fined, this time by VND300 million ($12,960) because of fans using flares.

Hanoi FC, the champions of 2019 V. League 1, are at number eight in this year standing after winning only three and losing another three in nine games. Hai Phong are at 12 out of 14 teams at the country's top league.

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