Chaos broke out in Hanoi on Saturday when fans started lining up to buy tickets for the return game between Vietnam and Malaysia in the semifinals of the 2014 Southeast Asian Football Championship, or AFF Suzuki Cup, with police officers even resorting to stun batons.
The first leg of the semis will kick off tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur and the second will take place in the Vietnamese capital on December 11.
Police officers used stun batons many times to restore order because around 10,000 supporters stood in long lines of over a kilometer hours before the tickets for the second leg started selling this morning at My Dinh Stadium.
The waiting fans even threatened to level the walls around the stadium. What happened went beyond all the predictions of the local organizing board.
It began with 1,000 fans queuing up from 3:00 am today and the number surged to 5,000 standing in line at 6:00 am, whereas tickets only started to be sold at 8:00 am.
But the organizers had sluggish reactions to the happenings.
“Security guards merely turned up to maintain order at 7:30 am when the turmoil already got worse,” Phung Kim Kien, a 20-year-old fan, said.
“Many people who came after me didn’t respect those who had queued first and they just jostled for the front positions.”
Even worse, the organizers decided to change the location of the booth to sell tickets and therefore many people lost their places in the old lines.
Earlier, the Vietnam Football Federation said a total of 40,000 tickets will be issued for this match, with 25,000 of which being sold at My Dinh.
Prices range from VND150,000 (US$7.2) to VND40,000 ($19.2).
The Philippines will clash with Thailand on December 6 and 10 in the other semifinal games.
All of the semifinal matches are staged on a home and away basis – a mode which will also be applied to the finals slated for December 17 and 20.