The best fans of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup
The 17th edition of the AFC Asian Cup promised to bring the games closer to the fans with low ticket prices and exclusive passport stamps for travelling supporters and the fans did not disappoint during the tournament.
Looking to provide a boost to their nation's bid for the coveted Asian Cup, fans from different countries flocked to the stadiums showing their undying support regardless of the result. We now look at the best fans of the tournament who, not only flown to UAE but also showed tremendous support even without leaving their home country.
Known to have such supporters who travel across the continent just to see them play, Thailand's fans really know when to show up.
With preparations as early as two or three years before the tournament, their fans have really saved up to fly for more than 3,000 miles and show their undying support to their country. Take Viroon Vichianwattanachai for example.
Leading the pack of Thailand supporters, Nalim followed the War Elephants to wherever they go. He always wanted to be there for his country as he said, it is his duty to support their country.
Surely, they made themselves heard especially when their nation secured a spot in the round of 16. Take a look at their own rendition of the Vikings Clap after they drew with hosts UAE.
Another one from the Southeast Asian region, Vietnam fans filled every stadium their country plays in with clads of red and gold. Just like Thailand, they are also fond of following their team no matter how far they go.
What's really amazing about the support they are providing to their country, not only do they have travelling fans but also the ones at home made their presence felt. After their win against Jordan in the round of 16 of the tournament, fans went out to the streets to celebrate their nation's first appearance in the AFC Asian Cup quarterfinals.
Not wanting to miss the chance to see their team vie for their second triumph in the continental tournament, fans from Iraq flew into UAE as well hoping to provide a lively atmosphere in their matches.
The noise they provided inside the stadium was also met with the same reception at home especially when they went on against the eventual champions Qatar. Though they would experience defeat in this match, you cannot really miss this atmosphere provided by everyone in Baghdad.
Always present in attendance, the Blue Samurais can always count on their fans to cheer them onto victory.
Not only their fans are passionate about their country, but they also show true respect to everyone and everywhere they go. Just like what they did in the World Cup, their team and their fans cleaned where they sat and brought whatever trash they see with them on their way out of the stadium. Truly a magnificent gesture from the well-mannered fans in Asia.
Despite the fact that there's a blockade set for Qatari citizens to enter the United Arab Emirates, they still made their presence felt during the final match against Japan.
They've also made sure that they could be heard from home as well when they went on to face Japan in the final. Fans back home flocked the streets of Doha to show their support. After the final whistle was blown, sheer ecstasy resounded in the streets.
When their national heroes arrived, the fans flocked the streets once again to congratulate them and celebrate the victory with them. Truly an amazing experience for a nation who, not only surprised everyone but also proved everyone wrong.
Published 04 Feb 2019, 18:42 IST