Vietnam feats drew record audiences for AFC U23 Championship
The final of soccer’s AFC Under-23 Championship attracted record television audiences in Vietnam last month, according to the Asian Football Confederation.
Vietnam’s 2-1 defeat to Uzbekistan was watched by over 5.3 million people across the country’s three major channels- Ho Chi Minh City Television’s HTV-9, Vietnam Television’s VTV-2 and VTV-6.
The game, which was played in Changzhou in China, netted a viewing share of 77 per cent, ranking as one of the country’s most-watched television programmes in recent years.
It was the first time that a Southeast Asian team had reached the final of the AFC's age-group competition, and the players were acclaimed as heroes back home.
The final was also well received on social media where the AFC’s Facebook page received nearly 1.5 million engagements in Vietnam alone, while 165,079 new users from the country started following the page.
The AFC U23 Championship was held in China from 9 to 27 January.
AFC secretary general Windsor John said: “The solid ratings on Vietnamese television and social media underscore the enduring appeal of football in this region, and demonstrate the power of engaging local communities with meaningful experiences and content that truly matter to them.
"Watching fans pour out into the streets to welcome their national heroes, packing public viewing spaces to capacity, and decorating the stadium with their country’s colours were proud moments for all of us."