Female journalist severely injured after flare fired across stands in Vietnamese League 1 clash

Flare incident in Vietnam
A woman identified as a contributor to newspaper 'Nhi Dong' was treated for severe burns to her leg

A female journalist was rushed to hospital after a flare was fired across the pitch into the stands during Wednesday's V.League 1 clash between Ha Noi FC and Duoc Nam Ha Nam Dinh FC at the Hang Day stadium.

Nam Dinh supporters ignited pyrotechnics throughout the match, showering the pitch with flares and causing the game to be interrupted multiple times due to safety concerns for the players and officials on the field.

The most serious incident, however, occurred when a roadside emergency flare was ignited in the 'B stand' and shot towards the 'A stand', directly hitting a woman's leg and forcing emergency services to step in.

The individual, identified as Mrs To Huyen Anh, a journalist working for Nhi Dong – a Vietnamese newspaper – suffered serious damage, according to doctors. The extent of the burns is such that they are said to have reached the woman's thigh bone.

The match was restarted following the incident, but visiting supporters continues to light and throw more flares while chanting slurs aimed at the chairman of Ha Noi. 

The animosity stems from the supremo allegedly having stakes in up to five other clubs in the Vietnamese top-tier, with fans convinced this to be the case raising questions as to whether the chairman has been manipulating matches.

In addition, a group of away fans were also caught on camera beating a police officer, who also had to be transferred to hospital after the match was brought to an end.

With the final whistle blown, media outlets took to the pitch to perform post-match interviews and Ha Noi's captain, forward Nguyen Van Quyet, narrowly avoided being hit with yet another flare that had been shot from the stands.

Speaking at a post-match press conference, visiting manager Nguyen Van Dung said: “Members of the Nam Dinh FC Supports' club respect the word of our president with regards to obeying law and order. This must be some rogue hooligans trying to ruin our reputation.

“We have to condemn these incidents as they are extremely dangerous. Playing with flares is not part of football, it is an act of violence and must have been prepared well in advance, which is offensive and ruining the club's reputation throughout the country.”

Board members from both clubs, alongside the head of the V.League, Mr Nguyen Trong Hoai, visited the injured woman in hospital. Ha Noi officials also confirmed that they will cover all medical expenses.