Many companies in Vietnam have allowed their staff to get some time off of work to watch the Golden Stars’ historic semifinal game at the AFC U23 Championship in China on Tuesday afternoon.
Vietnam won the historic semifinal spot after a 5-3 quarterfinal penalty shootout victory, following a tense 3-3 draw after extra time, over Iraq on Saturday night.
The young Vietnamese now have another chance of making history in their semifinal clash with Qatar in Changzhou at 3:00 pm (Vietnam time) on Tuesday.
Working on Tuesday afternoon has therefore become the last thing diehard football fans and supporters want to do, and their employers have listened to their desire.
Hanoi-based Khanh An Co. took the Internet by storm after a verified memo of the company, stating that all employees can finish work as early as 1:00 pm, two hours before the game starts, surfaced on social media on Monday.
The company, with only ten employees, will even take Wednesday as a day-off “to celebrate the victory” if Vietnam make it to the final game, according to the memo seen by Tuoi Tre News.
The company CEO, Nguyen Thanh Chung, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the memo is real, explaining that allowing employees to finish work early leaves no significant impact on “a small-scale company like us.”
|A screenshot of a post on the Facebook page of a high school shows the announcement to cancel extra classes on Tuesday afternoon for students to watch the match.|
Photos or scanned copies of many similar memos also made the social media rounds on Monday, with the time employees are allowed to stop working and start watching the football game varying among firms.
C. Moc Group, for instance, gives employees a break from 2:00 pm and will throw a party if their beloved team wins, company director Pham Thanh Truyen told Tuoi Tre, confirming the authenticity of a memo going viral online.
Truyen elaborated that some 50 employees of the company will leave the office for a nearby café to cheer for the U23 team.
“We will hold a party following the game if Vietnam wins,” he said.
“Employees are encouraged not to drive home on their own and the company will cover all taxi costs [following the bash].”
In the meantime, VNE, a Ho Chi Minh City-based company, allows employees to leave work at 3:00 pm, when the game officially begins, and to go to the office late on Wednesday.
Different ways to show support
With Vietnam’s presence at the last four of an Asian football tournament considered a historic event, many retailers and stores have also launched promotional campaigns to “show support for our team."
A high school in the northern province of Bac Giang even cancels the afternoon extra classes for Tuesday so students can go home and “cheer for the U23 team,” according to an announcement posted on its Facebook page.
Two local airlines, low-cost Vietjet and national carrier Vietnam Airlines, have decided not to stay out of the trend.
|A screenshot of a Facebook status of Vietjet managing director Luu Duc Khanh|
“I will paint the pictures of coach Park [Hang Seo] and the whole U23 team on [Vietjet] aircraft if you win the championship,” Khanh wrote on his personal Facebook account on Monday.
The executive confirmed to Tuoi Tre that this is not a joke, adding that Vietjet will give that special livery to one of its airplanes to show support for the football team.
The no-frills carrier already awarded the U23 team one year of flying free of charge with Vietjet to all domestic and international destinations under its network after their historic win over former champions Iraq last weekend.
Vietnam Airlines has added more flights from Vietnam to Shanghai, and pledged to organize shuttle buses to take Vietnamese football fans to travel from there to Changzhou, where the semi takes place, upon arrival.
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