European giants Arsenal set for Ha Noi friendly

Team spirit: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (right) celebrates scoring with teammates during their Premier League match against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on February 23 in London. The Arsenal squad will visit Viet Nam in July. — Photo

Team spirit: Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (right) celebrates scoring with teammates during their Premier League match against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium on February 23 in London. The Arsenal squad will visit Viet Nam in July. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— English Premier League’s Arsenal will play a friendly match against Viet Nam in Ha Noi in July as one of their warm-up activities for the new season.

The match will take place on July 17 at the national stadium My Dinh, two days after the team arrive in the country.

This will be the third year in a row that Arsenal have conducted pre-season tours in Asia. Before coming to Viet Nam, the squad will play friendly matches against Indonesia and Singapore.

“Recently, other countries in the region have hosted consecutive friendly matches with big clubs, while Viet Nam have not done anything in a long time. For this reason, we decided to invite Arsenal to Viet Nam. Although Vietnamese football faces many difficulties, it was not challenging to bring them here,” said Doan Nguyen Duc, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Professional Football Company.

Duc is also chairman of V-League’s two-time winner Hoang Anh Gia Lai, which belongs to Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, who also owns the Hoang Anh Gia Lai-Arsenal JMG Academy.

Arsenal have promised to bring a strong team to play Viet Nam.

Tom Fox, the Premier League giants’ chief commercial officer, said Arsenal and Hoang Anh Gia Lai had been partners for six years and that Arsenal planned to sign the contract in a few weeks.

Fox said he hoped Arsenal’s third trip would prepare the team for their new season. As the manager was seeking members for its main team, all players should play their best, he said.

Arsenal officials also hoped to build up a fan club in Viet Nam. The two sides will hold a press conference at Noi Bai International Airport when Arsenal arrive. A day later coach Arsene Wenger and his squad will train at My Dinh, with the door wide open to fans.

Ticket prices have not been revealed but Le Hung Dung, VPF deputy chairman, said they would not be cheap. He estimated that My Dinh’s 40,000 seats would fill up fast with swift-handed fans eager to get their hands on tickets. — VNS

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