Five gigantic screens have been set up at the Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City for a free public viewing of the 2019 King’s Cup opener between Vietnam and Thailand tonight, June 5.
The four-team competition, the 47th edition of the annual event, will take place in the northeastern Thai province of Buriram from June 5 to 8, with the other two contenders being India and Curacao.
The Vietnam - Thailand game will take place at 7:45 pm (Vietnam time), hours after the India - Curacao match. The two winners will challenge with each other for the King’s Cup trophy in the tournament final, while the other two play for the third-place title on June 8.
Besides the five large screens at the walkway in District 1, football fans in Ho Chi Minh City can also watch the Vietnam - Thailand game live on different TV channels, including the national radio station Voice of Vietnam (VOV) and VTC digital television.
Public screening of football matches is common in Vietnam, where soccer is the king of all sports.
This explains why a public viewing is held for even a four-team competition like King’s Cup, which has kept this format since the inaugural edition in 1968.
Participation in King’s Cup, held by the Thai football association, is considered important preparation for Vietnam ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines in November this year.