Thousands of fans filled in a stadium cheering for their favorite player and team seems to be a dreaded sight for now and near future for the world but not for Vietnam.
Vietnam resumed its top football league V.League1 on Friday and it saw around 3000 fans pouring into the stadium to watch the match.
If we were scared of the virus we wouldn’t have come,” said Viettel fan Dinh Van Tam.
“The measures taken to fight the virus were good to keep our health safe, that’s why everybody is having fun.”
Limited social distancing norms were followed as the fans cheered on shoulder to shoulder. Hand sanitizers were made available and the stadium stewards performed temperature checks as fans entered. The stadium functioned on half of its capacity and wearing masks was not mandatory.
This move was set in motion as the country successfully combated the novel coronavirus and lifted its nationwide shutdown. Despite sharing border with China, where the COVID-19 originated, Vietnam managed to limit the spread and saw 0 deaths because of it.
The top domestic football league was suspended in March with just 2 rounds played. The number of league games will be reduced from the usual 26 to 18 or 20. Vietnam football authorities hope to complete the season by the end of October.
“Obviously we are happy to play in front of fans as this is what makes football special,” said Ho Chi Minh coach Jung Hae-sung. “We have been waiting a long time for the league to restart.”
Germany’s Bundesliga also resumed its action last month along with South Korean K-League which saw matches being played in empty stadiums.