Vietnamese footballers have called on their supporters to remain calm and welcome Malaysian fans to Hanoi for the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi final on Thursday.
Midfielder Hoang Thinh returns to Vietnam after an AFF Cup first leg semi-final match against host Malaysia on December 7, 2014. Photo: Thanh Nien Online
The first game in Malaysia Sunday was marred by assaults by Malaysian hooligans on Vietnamese supporters after Vietnam led 2-1.
“I think the incident in Malaysia is regretful. I hope Vietnamese fans will come to the stadium to support us in the spirit of good sportsmanship,” mid-fielder Hoang Thinh told the media.
On Sunday, violence broke out at the stadium around five minutes before the end of the match when nearly 5,000 Vietnamese fans were cheering the forthcoming victory of the national football team.
The Vietnam fans were attacked by hooligans who threw bottles and other objects, sparking chaos at the Shah Alam Stadium, west of Kuala Lumpur.
Some Malaysian hooligans even rushed to assault the Vietnamese fans, who tried to flee and had no intention of fighting back. At least one Vietnamese fan was injured in the incident.
Striker Cong Vinh is welcomed by local fans at Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport. Photo: Thanh Nien Online
As the second leg semi-final match is set to kick off at Hanoi’s My Dinh Stadium on Thursday (December 11), striker Cong Vinh called for a “polite and civilized” reception for Malaysian fans.
“Images of thousands of supporting fans in red jerseys helped us overcome the challenges we faced at Shah Alam Stadium. My teammates and I want to dedicate or victory to all those fans.”
Vinh said that many people are frustrated because some extremist Malaysians attacked our fans, but they are few in number.
“Hopefully, Vietnamese fans at My Dinh will extend their enthusiastic support and friendliness toward Malaysian fans. Only by doing so, would a win over the Malaysians be meaningful,” he said.