300,000 sign to support VN football team, one mln expected

The organizers of a nationwide program launched in July to collect one million signatures to support Vietnam’s Olympic team in this December’s 25th Southeast Asian Games have so far received around 300,000 signatures, and many more are being awaited.

Paint company 4 Oranges, a sponsor of the Vietnam football team and a co-organizer of the program, told media on Sep. 10 that the target of one million signatures could be beat by the time the Olympic team start their SEA Games competition in Laos this December.

Boss Paints is the company’s brand associated with the support campaign.

4 Oranges company’s marketing director Chalermsak Pimolsri (L) and Boss Paints brand director Nguyen Quoc Thong provide updates on the signature collection campaign in HCM City Sep. 10 (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

The organizers launched the program in the Mekong province of An Giang on July 18, kicking off a south-north tour of a composite ball, six-meter high and 1,200 kg in weight, to collect signatures from fans.

The ball was then brought to the Central Highland province of Gia Lai and Danang City, home to the new Vietnamese League champions SHB Danang.

The giant ball that is touring Vietnam to collect signatures from fans (Photo: Tuong Thuy)

4 Oranges marketing director Chalermsak Pimolsri told reporters in Ho Chi Minh City Sep. 10 that more efforts are being made for collecting fan signatures.

He also announced that VND500 million (almost US$29,500) is his company’s bonus for Olympic Vietnam if they take the SEA Games gold medal.

During the campaign, boards are also set up at stadiums nationwide to collect signatures. Fans can also sign on printed sheets available at the paint company’s outlets, while a website on the campaign will be launched on Oct. 1 to further publicize the program and to receive online signatures.

The giant ball will visit Bien Hoa City in the southern province of Dong Nai late this month, then Ho Chi Minh City in the final week of October. It will come to the northern city of Hai Phong early November, visit the capital of Hanoi also that month, and the go to the central city of Vinh late November. From Vinh, the ball will group with Vietnamese fans to go to Laos early December.

In Laos, the host country of this year’s SEA Games, the ball would be put in stadiums where Vietnam’s Olympic team will play.

Vietnam won the Southeast Asian championships for the first time in 1959. The second time came in December last year after almost 50 years.

This December, Vietnam’s Olympic team will compete with other regional Olympic teams in the 25th SEA Games. Starting in 2001, national teams are not allowed to play in SEA Games.

By Thuy Nguyen

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