Vietnam was once a leading force in the game and won the 1959 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. They also made the final rounds of the Asian Cup competition in 1956. A decline in form followed for some years but in recent times, they have emerged from the days of being considered an easy team to one that must be treated seriously.

Vietnam have shown marked improvement and are now capable of taking on the others in the Southeast Asian region. They proved this in the SEA Games and the Tiger Cup competitions. In 1995, at the SEA Games in Chiagmai, the whole country exploded into celebration when Vietnam, unexpectedly, qualified for the final. People celebrated and jammed the streets of the city. Vietnam finished second but still it was an excellent result for the country.

In the 1997 SEA Games, Vietnam stunned once Asian giants Malaysia 1-0 in a group match and advanced to eventually finish third overall after beating Indonesia in the playoff. The following year, Vietnam finished behind Singapore in the Tiger Cup final.

Vietnam has introduced semi-professional football this season.


Fast Facts
Climate: The weather in Vietnam is different from any other South East Asian nation. The tropical weather that reigns over much of the region has its place in the south of Vietnam. But it’s in the north where the weather can get really cold during the winter months of the northern hemisphere where the temperature drops to around 15 degrees in Hanoi.

Geography: Stretching from the Gulf of Thailand in the south all the way up over 1,700km to the border with China, Vietnam covers an area of more than 300,000 square kilometres. Vietnam is a mountainous country but it also has large deltas – the Red River Delta in the north and the Mekong Delta in the south – that are highly cultivated and provide much of the food for this country.

Population: Vietnam has a population of about 77 million people. Of this figure 84% are ethnic Vietnamese. The remainder is made up of many smaller ethnic groups from the north as well as a Chinese minority.

Economy: The war deeply affected the Vietnam economy and since the 70s the government has tried to put the country on its feet. The free market reforms in recent times have had a telling effect on the economy. Foreign investment flowing into the country has also helped.

Religion: Buddhism, fused with local Vietnamese beliefs, is the main religion observed by the people of this nation. A large number of Vietnamese are Christians while a minority are Muslims.

Language: The Vietnamese language has many influences thanks to French. English is slowly growing in popularity with more younger Vietnamese picking up the language.

Currency: Vietnam’s currency is the dong. (US$1 equals 13,900d)