Vietnam's top football league to retake the field with spectators

By Hoang Nguyen, Lam Thoa   June 4, 2020 | 08:59 pm GMT+7
Vietnam's top football league to retake the field with spectators
The Vietnamese derby between Hanoi FC (in purple) and Hoang Anh Gia Lai in V. League 1 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

The third fixture of 2020 V. League 1 will again welcome fans when the tournament resumes Friday.

The earliest game will take place in Lach Tray Stadium between Hai Phong FC and HCMC FC at 5 p.m. Friday. The game will mark the return of V. League 1 after a three-month break due to Covid-19. It is the first league game to allow spectators amid the pandemic.

"We allowed Hai Phong FC to reopen the stadium and sell tickets to fans since Vietnam has successfully contained Covid-19, going 49 days straight without community transmission," said Chairman of Hai Phong People’s Committee Le Khac Nam on Wednesday.

Hai Phong FC is fourth on the V. League 1 table, topped by HCMC. The game between two teams in the top four promises to thrill fans after the long break.

However, the most anticipated game is the derby between defending champions Hanoi FC and Hoang Anh Gia Lai on Saturday. Hanoi FC’s home ground Hang Day Stadium has been green lighted by Hanoi People’s Committee to re-welcome spectators. Tickets will be sold two days before the match.

Other stadiums in Nam Dinh, Quang Nam, Cam Pha, and Vinh are also set to reopen to fans.

Quang Nam FC President Nguyen Hup said: "This is good news because football needs fans. However, we will strictly follow Covid-19 prevention measures. Fans entering the stadium will have to wear masks, get their temperatures checked and hands sanitized."

To celebrate the return of V. League 1, the latest football tournament in Asia to resume play, Asian Football Confederation has published a detailed article on it return.

"Vietnam's top flight will become the latest of Asia's leagues to return to action when V. League 1 resumes Friday after a near two-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And in further positive news for football fans across Vietnam, matches will not be played behind closed doors, with authorities allowing spectators into stadiums as the country continues to return towards normality," AFC wrote.

Vietnam's competitive football returned on May 23, with a National Cup match between Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh and Hoang Anh Gia Lai. While many parts of the world were still in lockdown, 10,000 spectators filled half of Thien Truong Stadium in the northern Nam Dinh Province, prompting media across Asia to call them "the happiest fans."

 
 
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