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Arsenal set for first EPL friendly match in Vietnam

HANOI -- Arsenal is set to become the first English Premier League club to play a friendly match in Vietnam with a game in July during a preseason tour of Asia, an official said Wednesday.

Arsenal executives are currently in Hanoi meeting officials from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) to negotiate a fixture against the national team, VFF spokesman Nguyen Lan Trung told AFP.

“The VFF and Arsenal Club have agreed to organize a friendly match at My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on July 17,” he said, adding that no formal deal had yet been signed.

VFF said the match would be partly sponsored by Hoang Anh-Gia Lai — one of Vietnam's largest private conglomerates which owns an eponymous team in the domestic V-league and runs a football academy in the Central Highlands.

The exclusive academy is designed to prepare boys to play professionally in football-mad Vietnam, a communist country of about 80 million people, and perhaps elsewhere in Asia or even Europe.

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