This is what soccer is to Vietnam!
Was our Malaysian streets like this when Malaysia qualified for the
final defeating Laos 3-1 in the semifinals?
I know what it is like in Vietnam because I covered the 2003 Vietnam
Sea Games. (Read what I had written about them then).
It is going to be an uphill task for K.Rajagobal's boys this evening, but
it is not an impossible task.
A win by Malaysia this evening, is going to turn Vietnamese euphoria
and mania into chaos in Vietnam tonight.
And will the Malaysian fans then be celebrating in place of the
Very unlikely, because like it or not, the Vietnamese have more passion
for the local soccer than Malaysians?
It is because, Malaysian have already enjoyed their glorious moments,
whereas, the Vietnamese are an emerging power starved of success.
Besides, Malaysians would rather congregate all over the city to watch
English teams wins and successes, not to mentioned to be dressed and
coloured in their favourite English team colours!
Vietnam having won the women's soccer gold medal after defeating
Thailand, they will be going for a double tonight.
The odds are indeed stacked against Malaysia, but then again if the
Malaysian players can be more hungry than the Vietnamese players,
then things can be different. Lets us all watch it live on RTM 2 and
TV 3 at 5.45pm this evening!
A night of celebration (Vietnam 4 – Singapore 1)!
|12:48' 15/12/2009 (GMT+7)|
VietNamNet Bridge – The streets of downtown Hanoi and HCM City
were a vibrant red, the colour of the national football squad’s jerseys,
late on Tuesday, December 14. Thousands of football fans played
drums and shouted “Victory Vietnam” after Vietnam trounced
Singapore 4-1 to reach the finals of the Southeast Asian Games men’s
In Hanoi, the streets around the Hoan Kiem Lake in particular, and
other thoroughfares were a prime destination of football fans. By 9pm,
half an hour after the game ended, Hang Bai, Ba Trieu, Nguyen Thai Hoc,
Dai Co Viet, Kim Ma and other thoroughfares were jammed by thousands
of fans on motorbikes and in cars, waving Vietnam’s gold star and red
flag and singing Like We Have Uncle Ho with Us in the Great Day of
Victory. Many waved cardboard replicas of the SEA Games cup to
parade through streets.
Many foreigners seemed amazed by the Vietnamese people’s passion
for football. Taking in the moment with a small camera at King Ly
Thai To’s statue, a European visitor said the atmosphere in Hanoi
could compare to the climax of the European Football Champs or
the World Cup. “I hope your team wins the championship,”
‘Robert’ sent his wish to the national U23 team.
Hundreds of people were ready to sell flags and banners for fans.
A small flag cost 10,000 dong and a big one 50,000.
At 10pm, fans still flocked to the city’s centre. Some young men burnt
flares on Dinh Tien Hoang Street. A man who stripped to his waist to
cheer tripped over a stone-made chair on the bank of the Hoan Kiem
Lake and injured himself. He was taken to the hospital for treatment.
On Hue Street, some shops placed loudspeakers on the pavement and
broadcast football songs and other triumphant melodies to cheer up
fans. The street was jammed until 11 pm.
Hanoi’s mobile police were on hand at all intersections to prevent extreme activities.
In HCM City, the areas around the Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, Nguyen
Hue and Le Loi Boulevards were also jammed by football fans. Many
families went to the street to cheer for the victory of the national team.
At 10 pm, Saigon’s streets were still crowded.
Vietnam meets Malaysia in the finals on December 17.
VietNamNet and VNExpress recorded the parades in Hanoi and HCM City:
Vietnamese fans in Laos: