Hàng Đẫy Stadium will be empty when Hà Nội FC host Nam Định in their V.League 1 first match on Saturday. Photo vietnamnet.vn
HÀ NỘI — For the first time in history the national top-flight V.League 1, will kick off without supporters in all stadiums this week.
The Việt Nam Professional Football Company (VPF) chose to ban supporters from all seven matches of the first round on March 6, 7 and 8 to ensure safety amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Decisions on attendance for games in the coming weeks will be decided in due course.
Prior to the V.League, the National Super Cup between Hà Nội FC and HCM City FC could only be attended by 100 fans of each club due to the same issue.
In a statement, the VPF said: “For the success of the V.League 2020, the organisers hope to receive support and co-operation of all clubs and local organising committees.”
“Supporters are an important part of any game, especially football,” said Trần Anh Tú, chairman of the VPF.
“But diseases are an unavoidable problem. In all cases, we must put people’s health as the top priority,” said Tú.
He added that local leaders, sports officials, leaders of the VPF and Việt Nam Football Federation, organising staff, clubs’ staff and reporters will be able to attend.
In some grounds, up to 100 supporters of each team can attend if there is a request from the municipal or provincial chairman.
However, all potential attendees must answer surveys from the organisers about their health before entering the venues and wear face masks during the matches.
The start of the season has already been delayed from February 22 to today due to the epidemic.
“We could not delay again. Income from selling tickets is not the main source of revenue for clubs in Việt Nam. Delaying the season would cause big losses for them when they have prepared everything already,” said Tú.
“We have worked with all team and received their approvals (for no postponement).
“It is difficult to talk about the next rounds, we will have to consider many things before making decisions.”
Today, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai face Than Quảng Ninh and Quảng Nam take on HCM City FC. Saturday's matches feature champions Hà Nội FC against Nam Định and Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh versus Viettel.
The matches wrap up on Sunday, with Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh versus Viettel, Becamex Bình Dương against SHB Đà Nẵng, Thanh Hóa taking on Hải Phòng and Sài Gòn facing Sông Lam Nghệ An. — VNS