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Low key celebration of Aussie Rules in Saigon as Vietnam prepares for state funeral of General Vo Nguyen Giap

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 12, 2013

This weekend, Vietnam mourns the death of General Vo Nguyen Giap.

In Saigon today, the Vietnam Swans will:

  • Play Melbourne’s Southern Dragons, a team comprising predominantly Viet Kieu;
  • Host an Auskick clinic which will feature a special guest appearance by Melbourne FC player, Rohan Bail; and
  • Introduce Rohan’s father, Garry West Bail who, tomorrow, will set off for Hanoi running and cycling to raise money for KOTO (see ).

It’s a big agenda that will be played out against a subdued background following the death of Vietnam’s General Vo Nguyen Giap, aged 102.

Giap, second only to the late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh as modern Vietnam’s most revered figure, will be given a state funeral tomorrow.

Giap is the Vietnamese general who masterminded victories against France and the US. His defeat of French forces at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 effectively ended French colonial rule in the region.

He went on to oversee the Tet Offensive against American forces in 1968, often cited as one of the factors that led to the US withdrawal.

As a mark of respect for Giap, most public events in the weekend have been cancelled or postponed this weekend.

Given the Southern Dragons and Bails are only available in Saigon this weekend, the Vietnam Swans events will proceed on a very low key scale. There will be no food or drinks available at the ground (apart from water for players). Players will leave the ground immediately after the matches have been completed.

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