V.League 1 matches to be played behind closed doors

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Hà Nội FC captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết (left) challenges Bình ĐỊnh's striker Nguyễn Xuân Nam during their V.League 1 on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of VPF

HÀ NỘI — The V.League 1 match between Hà Nội FC and Sài Gòn FC will be played behind closed doors to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

In an announcement on their Facebook page, the capital club said: "The Hàng Đẫy Stadium will not open for supporters including those with season tickets for the match between Hà Nội and Sài Gòn on May 2. It is because of the recent cases of COVID-19 pandemic in the community."

Hà Nội are currently sit in 10th place in the league after their loss 0-1 to Bình Định on Wednesday. They are out of top six teams who could vie for the silverware in the next stage of the national league.

Speaking at the post-match briefing, new coach Park Choong-kyun confirmed that he was always prepared for the worst.

The South Korean said he has not even unpacked his suitcase since his arrival.

Hà Nội still can jump back to the top six if they win their two remaining games and hope other teams above them drop points.

Meanwhile Sài Gòn beat Đà Nẵng 2-1 to record their first win on away ground this season. It was the second win of the team under new coach Phùng Thanh Phương, and they get out of bottom three zone to land at No 11.

As well as the match in the capital, four other games will also be held without fans.

They are matches between Hoàng Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Bình Dương in Pleiku; Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh and Nam Định in Hà Tĩnh; Bình Định and Than Quảng Ninh in Quy Nhơn and Thanh Hóa and Sông Lam Nghệ An in Thanh Hóa.

To date, only Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City will welcome supporters to watch host HCM City vs Hải Phòng and Hòa Xuân Stadium in Đà Nẵng will open for fans in the game of Đà Nẵng vs Viettel.

After 11 matches, Hoàng Anh Gia Lai are on top with 28 points. They are followed by Viettel with 23 and Nam Định on 18.

The organisers of the V.League 1 also changed the schedule of the final round of the first period.

The 13th round games will be held two days earlier than planned, on May 7 instead of May 9, to ensure COVID-19 pandemic control activities and measures. It is also to ensure the first period of the V.League 1's safely finishes.

After that, tournaments will have a break so that players would serve the national team for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. VNS

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