Gunners Vietnam trip under fire as Hanoi stadium hikes its fees

278769 heroaBy Andrew Warshaw
June 14 - Organisers of a pre-season friendly between Arsenal and Vietnam's national team are facing a battle to ensure the match goes ahead after the owners of the Hanoi stadium involved hiked up their fees.

Arsenal would be the first Premier League team to visit Vietnam, a huge public relations boost for the country, and the national federation has appealed to the government and local media to pressure the owners of the My Dinh national stadium to lower costs after they demanded 1.5 billion dong (£45,376) - more than seven times the normal price - to stage the much-anticipated July 17 fixture.

"The price the My Dinh stadium asked for is too unreasonable," Le Hung Dung, vice chairman of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), told Reuters.

Like elsewhere in Asia, the Premier League is massive in Vietnam. The country is part of a three-nation tour being planned by Arsenal who are also visiting Indonesia and Japan. Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool, all of whom have large fan bases in Asia, are also using the summer to boost their brand awareness with fixtures in the Far East.

Can Van Nghia, director of the 40,000-capacity My Dinh stadium, insisted owners were not profiteering from the high-profile Arsenal game.

"All money is being used to renovate the stadium," he said. "This is a historic game and we have to prepare for that."

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