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Vietnam's inaugural ANZAC match - Hanoi Hawks vs Saigon Saints

  • Thursday, April 08 2010 @ 08:11 am ACST
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The Vietnam Swans have announced that they will this year host their first ANZAC memorial match on the weekend of 24-25 April this year. The match will be a domestic clash, with the Hanoi Hawks taking on the Saigon Saints in Vung Tau, close to Saigon and Long Tan.

ANZAC Day, which commemorates Australia and New Zealand's fallen soldiers, is a common fixture for international footy events, with matches this year scheduled in places of significance to Australian military history including Villiers-Bretonneux in France, Hellfire Pass in Thailand, and Long Tan in Vietnam.

This report courtesy of the Vietnam Swans.

The Vietnam Swans Australian Rules Football Club has announced details of their inaugural ANZAC Match which will be played at the Vung Tau (near Saigon and Long Tan) Greyhound Racing Track, Vietnam, at 2pm on Saturday 24 April, 2010.

Aussie Rules footy matches are playing an increasingly important role around Asia commemorating ANZAC Day. This year, footy matches will be played in nine countries from Vietnam to China and from East Timor to Thailand.

The Thailand Tigers will host their 6th ANZAC Match this year against the Lao Elephants, in blazing heat, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand. They will play the match in front of several ex POW’s from WWII’s notorious Burma Death Railway. All players and officials will attend the ANZAC Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass.

In Vietnam, the Government only allows two countries to honour their fallen with a memorial. They are France (Dien Bien Phu) and Australia (Long Tan). In exchange, the Vietnamese Government requests that those who visit the memorials must not wear medals, uniforms, raise or display flags or play music and that any speeches should be short and low key.

Against this backdrop of sensitivities, the Vietnam Swans will play their inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau (Vung Tau served as the Australian logistics base during the Vietnam War). The Vietnam Swans will play an internal match between the Hanoi Hawks and Saigon Saints.

The Vietnam Swans’ National President Phil Johns expects a number of Vietnam Veterans to attend the match. Johns said, “Our match will bring together two worlds from two different eras: Vietnam 1970 and Vietnam 2010. Vietnam 2010 is such an exciting, vibrant and welcoming country”, he added.

All players and officials will attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the near by Long Tan Cross.

The Hawthorn Football Club has very generously donated the match ball.