Vietnam play Manchester City in friendly
By Vu Duc - The Saigon Times Daily
Manchester City players celebrate with the trophy after winning Premier League title in 2012
HCMC - Vietnamese football fans have a chance to watch the football stars of Manchester City staging their skills at a friendly match with the Vietnamese national team at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi City on July 27.
Runners-up Premier League 2014 Manchester City under coach Manuel Pellegrini, who have targeted the second league title in the upcoming season for their team, arrived in Hanoi on Saturday for the game scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. at the 40,000-capacity My Dinh Stadium.
Holding banners at the Noi Bai airport, about 1,000 local fans of the English football squad welcomed Pellegrini and his 29 players, including David Silva, Yaya Toure, Joe Hart as well as two newcomers Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.
They are in Hanoi for three days in line with a sponsorship deal signed by relevant parties, including Saigon- Hanoi Bank. Besides the friendly match, Manchester City will also promote its image in Vietnam.
Vietnamese national team coach Toshiya Miura has called about 25 Vietnamese players to prepare for the match, including such local stars as striker Le Cong Vinh, Nguyen Huy Toan, Mac Hong Quan and Nguyen Thanh Luong. Striker Nguyen Cong Phuong, who performed impressively at the 28th Southeast Asian Games in Singapore last month, may also be one of the local players at the match.
VietnamTelevision(VTV) hasbought the right to broadcast live the match for only VND50 million (US$2,230). The state-owned TV station can broadcast live any match of the national team inside Vietnam for the same charge, according to an agreement it signed with the Vietnam Football Federation.
Tickets for the upcoming match will break price records for Vietnamese football, with top-whack VND1.8 million seats being the highest for a football match in the country.
That exceeds the VND1.5 million price when Arsenal beat Vietnam 7-1 in the same stadium two years ago. A much higher-than-permitted number of spectators for the Gunners’ game sent tickets up by five times on the unofficial market.
The friendly match is the final leg of Manchester City’s pre-season tour and their members are expected to arrive back in Manchester on July 28. In 2012, Manchester City won the Premier League, their first league title for 44 years.
Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) and Hanoi- based Tan Hoang Minh Group are the main sponsors who help make the friendly game between Manchester City and the Vietnamese national team possible.
SHB chairman Do Quang Hien said around US$1.5 million has been spent bringing The Citizens to Hanoi.
It also costs the organizers around VND10 billion (US$460,000) for the organization, security, taxes, transport and accommodation at a five-star hotel in the capital city for over 80 Manchester City team members.