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Global press lauded Vietnamese football for early return amid COVID-19 pandemic

May 27, 2020 | 15:00

With the 2020 National Cup kicked off Saturday afternoon with 10 matches full of spectators and no social distancing requirements, Vietnam football has been drawing international attention and receiving constant praise. "Vietnam is a big surprise, resuming its football cup like no other country in the world", Doble Amarilla says. 

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global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
Spanish newspaper Al Aire Libre runs a series of photos capturing the frenzy atmosphere at 2020 Vietnam National Cup (Photo: Captured)

The paid sports channel TyC Sports on May 25 reported the 10 recent football matches in Vietnam, expressing their surprise and admiration for Vietnam’s successful containment of the outbreak, notwithstanding its close border with China.

“The world football is starting to be kicked off again, but it’s certain that there will be no spectators for a long time. Vietnam, however, is a big surprise. Their 2020 National Cup has come back with 10 matches and the stadium seats are full of football fans”, TyC Sports comments.

The Spanish news outlet also praises Vietnam for “keeping a national tally at only 350 and no death” despite sharing a long border with China – where the novel virus first detected. “The country succeeded in bringing things back to normal sooner than everyone’s expectation. Vietnam football tournament is one of the first tournaments worldwide to come back without any restrictions”.

The Al Aire Libre, on the other hand, has made a series of photos picturing the frenzy atmostphere of Vietnamese football on the return day.

global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
(Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)
global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
This photo series appears on Al Aire Libre (Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)
global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
(Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)
global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
(Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)
global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
(Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)

Doble Amarilla, another Spanish newspaper wrote about Vietnamese football with the headlines “Vietnam, the country restarts football tournament under the witness of thousands of fans”.

Accordingly, the article says the first match between Nam Dinh and Hoang Anh Gia Lai club with the attendance of 10,000 spectators without any social distancing restriction is an astonishing thing. “Vietnam has broken the world customs and resume its football tournament in a different way from the rest of the world”.

“Competition action returned to Vietnam at the weekend with the 2020 Vietnamese Cup getting underway as the Southeast Asian nation became the first in ASEAN to resume after the Covid-19 enforced hiatus,” Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is quoted by VNE.

AFC also said the National Cup games will be a good appetizer before the top competition in Vietnam, V. League 1, returns on June 5 with a modified format.

Thai sports site Siamsport remarked that “Vietnamese football fans are perhaps the happiest in the world at the moment,” being able to enjoy the stadium atmosphere again in the National Cup games after they were postponed for two months.

The site also said that the image of Thien Truong Stadium filled with fans wearing yellow, the traditional color of the host club Nam Dinh, left a great impression, as regional football hasn’t witnessed such an atmosphere on the field for months.

The return of Vietnamese football is a big encouragement for regional countries to fight Covid-19 and get football back to normal, it said.

global press lauded vietnamese football for early return amid covid 19 pandemic
(Photo courtesy of Al Aire Libre)

Famous football site Goal also congratulated Vietnam for being able to bring back competitive football with spectators so early while world football is still struggling with the pandemic.

“Congratulations to the Vietnamese fans as they are the happiest in the world right now,” Goal wrote.

South Korean news agency Yonhap called the Thien Truong stadium game “special” as it is the first football game that allows spectators during the Covid-19 period, VNE reported.

Another news site, Japanese Viet-jo, observed: “Allowing 10,000 fans to watch the game live turned it into the most crowded match in the world at the moment. As the pandemic has been controlled in Vietnam, resuming tournaments and allowing spectators for the games will attract great attention from the world.”

Vietnam’s vibrant football atmosphere returned Saturday afternoon with 10,000 spectators, half of the stadium’s capacity, coming to Thien Truong Stadium in the northern Nam Dinh Province to watch the clash between hosts Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh and Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

Vietnam had decided in March to postpone all sport events in the country, including football competitions, when the Covid-19 situation worsened. It relaxed a social distancing campaign on April 23 and allowed most non-essential services except karaoke and disco bars to reopen.

Another sports event, the HTV Cub which is a bike race from the north-central province of Nghe An to HCMC, is also going on in Vietnam and has won global attention for being the world’s first bike race amid the pandemic.

As of May 27, Vietnam reports 327 infections, of which only 50 active patients remain, no death reported. The country has gone 41 consecutive days without any community transmission.
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