As Vietnam are taking on Thailand in the opener of their campaign in the second Asian round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification later on Thursday, tickets for the game on Thai turf were quoted at exorbitant rates one day ahead of the game.
Thailand started selling the tickets on the website thaiticketmajor.com on August 19, but the entrance passes were quickly sold out just five minutes after the online sale was opened.
The short supply, against huge demands to watch the match from both Vietnamese and Thai supporters, allowed sellers on the ‘black market’ to send prices through the roof, especially when the match day drew near.
Scalpers were asking 5,000 baht (US$163.5) on Wednesday for a ticket whose official price was only 650 baht ($21.25) .
The Thailand-Vietnam clash will take place at the 25,000-seat Thammasat Stadium in Bangkok at 7:00 pm (Vietnam time) on Thursday.
Many Vietnamese supporters who currently reside in Bangkok were upset that they failed to purchase tickets to cheer for their beloved team in a match that takes place right in the city where they live.
One of them, Thu Trang, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that she would have to watch the game on TV.
Trang added that she was once able to cheer for Vietnam live at the stadium when the Golden Stars met Thailand in the four-team King's Cup 2019 in June, even though she had to travel 400km from Bangkok to the northeastern province of Buriram.
The ticket for that game cost only 500 baht ($16.35), she said.
Vietnam and Thailand are in Group G with the UAE, Malaysia and Indonesia in the second round of the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
As Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia are all old rivals in Southeast Asia, Vietnamese supporters have high hopes that the Golden Stars will be able to make it to further qualifying rounds and ultimately realize their World Cup dream.
Vietnam are Southeast Asian football champions after clinching their second AFF Cup last year.