Vietnamese fans have displayed their indifferent attitude toward the friendly game between Vietnam and Malaysia at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Sunday ahead of the 2014 Southeast Asian Football Championship, or AFF Suzuki Cup, to kick off next week.
Match tickets started selling on Friday at My Dinh and Hang Day Stadiums and at 59 Hoang Cau Street – all in the Vietnamese capital – but few people have stopped by to purchase.
There are even more sellers at the ticket booths than buyers, according to observations by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters.
Although tickets are offered at cheap prices, just a small number of fans have bothered to buy them so far.
Prices range from VND50,000 (US$2.4), VND100,000 ($4.8), to VND150,000 ($7.2).
“I am free on Sunday and my house is near My Dinh so I want to come there for fun,” said Nguyen Van An, a fan in Hanoi’s Cau Giay District. “Actually, I am not much interested in watching the Vietnamese team except when they advance to the final match of the AFF Suzuki Cup.”
In a friendly with Palestine last week, Vietnam were beaten 1-3 on home soil. Only 5,000 fans watched the encounter at the 40,000-seat My Dinh Stadium.
“The organizers have to sell tickets to cover the cost of around VND200 million [$9,600] for leasing the stadium,” said Nguyen Minh Chau, vice general secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation.
The 2014 Suzuki Cup is co-hosted by Vietnam and Singapore from November 22 to December 20.
Matches of Group A – including Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, and hosts Vietnam –will be held in Hanoi while Singapore hosts Group B games with Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar being their rivals.
Vietnam will take on Indonesia on November 22, Laos on November 25, and the Philippines on November 28.
The semifinal and final games will be played on a home and away basis from December 6 to 20.