Thursday, July 05, 2007

Vietnam adds US$1.2M to AFC's Asian Cup spend

To co-host the AFC Asian Cup 2007, the biggest football tournament that Vietnam has held so far, US$1.25 million has been invested, particularly on security. However, according to the Vietnam Football Federation Vice Secretary General, Duong Nghiep Khoi, the Asian Football Confederation pays for almost everything. "Vietnam doesn’t have to spend much money, only work hard," he told VietNamNet Bridge.

The Asian Cup is considered a chance to advertise Vietnam’s football to the world. "We organised the 2003 South East Asian Games so we have had some experience. Preparations for Asian Cup 2007 have been completed. Vietnam is ready for a successful tournament. We are trying to organise the event very well to prove that Vietnam is able to host international events,” said Khoi.

For security, the AFC's top concern and the area in which Vietnam has spent the largest amount of money, the National Committee for Sports and Physical Training and the VFF asked for assistance from the Ministry of Public Security. They also hired guards from private companies and mobilised security forces of local stadiums. The total number of security staff at Asian Cup 2007 is now up to several thousand.

Japanese fans coming to Vietnam is the highest amongst the three guest teams in group B. According to initial statistics, at least 4,000 Japanese have booked tickets for Asian Cup through travel firms in Vietnam. In addition, independent fans from Japan are trying to buy tickets through ticket distributors. Several months before the event, some high-class hotels in Hanoi were booked by Japanese fans. Notably, up to 300 Japanese reporters will come to Vietnam for the event.

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