Vietnamese fans to get few seats for Thailand clash at World Cup qualifiers

By Hoang Nguyen   August 6, 2019 | 08:21 pm PT
Vietnamese fans to get few seats for Thailand clash at World Cup qualifiers
Nguyen Trong Hoang (red) chases after the ball in the King's Cup game between Vietnam and Thailand on June 5, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
For the first World Cup 2022 qualifier game against Thailand on September 5, Vietnamese fans can buy just 2,244 tickets.

Thai media have reported that Football Association of Thailand (FAT) is constrained by FIFA rules in the number of tickets it can sell to fans of the opposing team.

Although the low number of seats may upset Vietnamese fans, a FIFA regulation says that in an official match organized by the association, the away team will only get 8 percent of the total seats in the stadium. The Thammasat Stadium in Rangsit, Thailand, has a capacity of 25,000 seats, meaning Vietnam will get exactly 2,244 seats.

The same rule will be applied in the second leg when Vietnam plays Thailand at My Dinh Stadium at home on November 19, where the capacity is 40,192. For this match, Thai fans will get 3,215 seats.

Thailand has often been considered the regional powerhouse, but under coach Park Hang-seo, Vietnam has taken the Southeast Asian champion position. The Golden Dragons won the AFF Cup last December, and beat Thailand at the friendly King's Cup tournament in June.

After the first game with Thailand, Vietnam will clash Malaysia at home on October 10. Five days later, they will play in Indonesia. In November, Vietnam will play the last two games of 2019 at home against UAE and Thailand.

The eight group winners and the four best group runner-ups of the second round will advance to the third round and will also automatically qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup held in China.

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