KUALA LUMPUR – The Vietnamese Government has given an assurance over the safety of Malaysian fans during the second leg of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final at My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi today.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Pham Cao Phong said Malaysian fans should not fear attending the match although the incident which happened during the first leg at the Shah Alam Stadium on Dec 7, was regrettable.
“The thing which happened in Shah Alam stadium was very sad, and we are also very sad that some Vietnamese (fans) were beaten up by some Malaysians. But, we (had) received a phone call from Khairy Jamaluddin (Malaysia’s youth and sports minister), (and) during the talk, we spoke about that.
“We guarantee that when Malaysians come to Vietnam, they are welcome. Vietnam is a friendly country while Malaysia is very close to us…our neighbour and brother in the Asean family,” he told Bernama during the ceremony, ‘Celebrating the Auguration of Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia’ at a hotel here Wednesday.
Phong was asked to comment on the attack by Malaysian fans on a number of Vietnamese fans during the match between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Earlier, the Vietnamese media reported that the authorities had promised to keep the second leg match in Hanoi under heightened security.
The report also stated that more than 300 bodyguards hired by the Vietnam Football Federation would be assisted by 1,000 policemen to watch over the match, in the event of a ‘counter-strike’ by the local fans there.
On another note, Phong congratulated Malaysia for its selection as Asean chairman next year, as well as Non-Security Member of the United Nations Security Council.
He said Vietnam would cooperate in every way to ensure that 2015 would be successful to the region.
“Vietnam is willing to cooperate closely with Malaysia to make the Asean year in 2015 successful,” he added.
On the issue of bilateral relations, Phong said he was looking forward to better ties between Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi.
He also hoped that some agreements verbally-agreed upon by leaders from both countries during their respective visits earlier, would be realised soon.
“We are going to have a better relationship as agreed upon by the leaders of two countries,” he said. – Bernama