VFF working to ensure Vietnam can host World Cup qualifiers
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) wants to ensure Vietnam can host the national team's home matches for the third qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup, despite the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vietnamese team will have five home matches in the third round ofqualifying for the 2022 World Cup. Photo thuonggia24h.vn
The draw held by the Asian Football Confederation on Thursday placed Vietnam in Group B of the qualification round alongside China, Japan, Australia, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
The Vietnamese team will play five matches home and away in the qualifiers, with the first home match against Australia on September 7.
General secretary of the VFF Le Hoai Anh said the VFF is trying its best to hold the Vietnamese team’s matches on home turf amid the complicated COVID-19 epidemic.
"The VFF will consult specialised authorities in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. We want them to consider a policy to allow the Vietnamese team to hold matches of the third qualifying round at home,” Anh said.
"The movement mechanism of teams participating in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers follows a closed process. That means the teams will move from the hotel to the training ground and the stadium.
"The VFF wants the authorities to create the best conditions for the matches of the Vietnamese team can take place at home. We will ask for a suitable policy like some countries which are applying to people who have had two doses of the vaccine."
According to regulations of the AFC, teams must be present at the competition venue at least four days before each match. Therefore, the biggest problem for hosting matches will be the entry, isolation and control of members of visiting teams.
The AFC also stipulates that if the home team can’t host a match, they must find a neutral venue as a replacement.
Following the draw, head coach of the Vietnamese team Park Hang-seo expressed his respect for the five opponents in Group B.
"This is the first time Vietnam have won the right to play in the third qualifying round of the World Cup. We will prepare well for each match. The five teams are stronger than Vietnam. We will play with humility and a spirit of desire," said Park.
"Each team in the group have their own characteristics and different playstyle. This is a good opportunity for the Vietnamese team to learn more and develop their abilities in the matches,” he added.
Vietnam will play their first match on September 2 away to Saudi Arabia.
Is the idea of setting up two national football squads to play at the AFF Cup and the 2022 World Cup qualifiers possible?