Fans flock back into stadiums as football resumes in Vietnam
Top-flight action resumed in Vietnam on Friday and there were masses of football fans packed into grounds to see it.
The country has pursued a return to normalcy after effectively dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and supporters were able to attend fixtures without social distancing measures in place.
There were also no restrictions on crowd sizes – with almost 30,000 attendees watching Nam Dinh’s home defeat against Viettel.
The Vietnam professional league was brought to a halt in March, but there have been no coronavirus deaths and just 328 confirmed cases in the Communist-ruled nation.
And with the authorities keen to restart their economy, football was given the official green light to pick up where it had left off after a three-month suspension.
Fans were pictured sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in bustling stands for the three opening V. League matches.
Hand sanitiser was made available for supporters and stewards also carried out temperature checks on those entering the venue. They were asked to wear face masks.
‘If we were scared of the virus we wouldn’t have come,’ Viettel fan Dinh Van Tam told Reuters.
‘The measures taken to fight the virus were good to keep our health safe, that’s why everybody is having fun.’
The V. League’s decision to restart with fans present is a stark contrast to Europe – with LaLiga, the Bundesliga and the Premier League among those to complete its remaining matches behind closed doors.
But Vietnam has been lauded for its response to the coronavirus crisis, with the country having implemented mass testing and a successful quarantine programme.
The measures have allowed football to return with crowds, and Vietnam national team captain Que Ngoc Hai admitted he was pleased fans were able to attend.
‘I’m not saying this to compare us with other countries, but Vietnamese football has returned after the COVID outbreak, it showed how well us Vietnamese have fought the virus,’ he told Reuters.
That’s not social distancing! Hungarian fans celebrate Honved’s cup final win
Budapest Honved players celebrated winning the Hungarian Cup final in front of a mass of fans who were not following social distancing on Wednesday.
Djordje Kamber, who clinched the 2-1 victory over Mezokovesd-Zsory, was seen with a megaphone leading the celebrations at the front of one stand at the Puskas Ferenc Arena.
Hungary became the first country in Europe to allow football clubs to reopen their stadiums to fans after the coronavirus shutdown.
Only the lower tier of the 67,215-capacity Puskas Arena was open, with fans encouraged to sit apart.
Most obeyed but some Mezokovesd-Zsory supporters were also seen close together behind a goal during the game.
Football in Hungary resumed last month after being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Match organisers in Hungary are obliged to keep three seats empty between each occupied seat and no fan may sit directly behind or in front of another.
Players and essential personnel on or near the field during matches must recently have tested negative for the coronavirus.
Germany has resumed the Bundesliga without fans.
Games in England, Spain and Italy will also be closed to supporters when their leagues resume this month.