Ornamental stones outside the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi that were removed for ‘feng shui’ reasons before Vietnam faced the Philippines in the second-leg semifinal match of the 2018 AFF Championship on Thursday will remain away from the venue until the tournament ends, stadium management has said.
Forty stone spheres linked by a chain were installed as decorations outside stand B of the 40,000-seat stadium when it was finished in 2003 as part of the namesake sporting complex that is the largest of its kind in Vietnam.
On Wednesday, organizers of the Vietnam-Philippines match requested that stadium management remove the sculptures, citing ‘feng shui’ reasons, according to Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.
"Spiritually speaking, those balls don’t bode well for the Vietnamese [football] team," a representative of My Dinh Sporting Complex told Thanh Nien on Thursday morning.
Feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, discusses architecture in terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together.
Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings in an auspicious manner.
Though officials said the stone balls would be “put back where they were” after the match, public opinion in Vietnam seems to have shifted toward keeping them away for good after their home team’s ecstatic win over the Philippines.
The Golden Stars on Thursday pulled off a 2-1 victory over the Azkals to advance 4-2 on aggregate to their first AFF Championship final in ten years.
The result broke Vietnam’s “no-win curse” at My Dinh, with the country’s national team getting three draws and two defeats in five AFF Championship semifinal games it ever played at the stadium between 2004 and 2014.
According to management of My Dinh Sporting Complex, the 40 stone spheres will remain away from the stadium until the end of the 2018 AFF Championship.
Vietnam will play the first-leg final on the Malaysian soil on December 11, before their return game at My Dinh on December 15.
The fate of the stone decorations will be decided after the final match, an official from the management of My Dinh Sporting Complex told Thanh Nien.