National Anthem in AFF Cup matches no longer to be muted

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HÀ NỘI — Next Sports, the copyright holder of the AFF Cup 2020 and the YouTube channel that broadcasts the tournament live in Việt Nam, has announced that the Vietnamese anthem will be played during the national team’s subsequent matches, instead of being muted like against Laos on December 6.

The announcement was made following the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s statement which says that the Vietnamese law prohibits individuals and organisations from preventing the dissemination of the National Anthem, reported e-newspaper Vietnamplus.

The ministry is responsible for carrying out the role of State management and shall take the necessary steps to maintain and promote the value of the anthem.

Vietnamese law prohibits any organisation or individual, in any form, from preventing or obstructing the performance of the anthem directly or indirectly (including online).

During the Việt Nam – Laos opening match of the AFF Cup 2020 broadcast live on the YouTube platform, the Vietnamese National Anthem was muted during the Vietnamese team’s flag salute.

The muted Vietnamese National Anthem caused frustration in the Vietnamese online community. — Screenshot Photo

An explanatory message in Vietnamese was shown on the Next Sports channel screen: “For the reason of music copyright, we are obliged to mute the sound at the flag salutation ceremony. Upon the end of the ritual, the sound will be resumed. Your understanding is appreciated.”

After the match, a screenshot of the muted performance of the Vietnamese national anthem was spread by fans on social media.

Thousands of people left comments, expressing surprise and shock at the soundless performance.

Many people blamed BH Media Corp for the incident as this company was previously accused of claiming copyright on a recorded version of the National Anthem titled Tiến Quân Ca (Marching Song), by late composer Văn Cao (1923-1995).

However, talking to the Người Lao Động newspaper, a representative of BH Media has released a notice rejecting any involvement.

According to BH Media, the reason for muting the National Anthem during the match was because Next Sports was afraid that the performance of the song Tiến Quân Ca would infringe copyright, which would affect revenue while broadcasting the match on YouTube.

“Videos of matches from other countries on Next Media’s YouTube channel are also muted to avoid infringing on music copyright,” a BH Media representative said.

According to an official of the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF), the Vietnamese National Anthem that was used at the AFF Cup 2020 was taken from the homepage of the Asian Football Confederation by the Organising Committee.

This recording was provided by VFF after applying for permission and taken from the Government Portal.

A senior leader of the VFF said that they were investigating the process of using the National Anthem at the AFF Cup.

In the immediate future, they will send a new official recording of the National Anthem to the AFF Cup 2020 Organising Committee so the problem can be resolved.

Previously, at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup, a match of the U23 Việt Nam team also had a similar problem, causing frustration in the fan community. — VNS

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