HANOI - Vietnamese authorities have promised to beef up security and protect visiting Malaysian fans at Thursday's AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final.
Officials said they would deploy thousands of police and separate rival supporters to avoid a repeat of the violent clashes that marred Sunday's first leg in Malaysia.
"Even though the number of Malaysia fans is not too many, they will get seats in designated areas," Can Van Nghia, the director of the national stadium, told state-run Thanh Nien Online.
"Malaysian fans will be very safe at My Dinh stadium." The move to increase security followed ugly scenes at last weekend's first leg, win 2-1 by Vietnam, with five people arrested after fighting broke out in the stands.
The Malaysian sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin issued an apology to Vietnam's supporters and spoke with Vietnam's ambassador to Malaysia about security measures for the return leg.