French club won't release Vietnam star midfielder for AFF Cup

By Hieu Luong   October 29, 2022 | 03:42 am PT
French club won't release Vietnam star midfielder for AFF Cup
Nguyen Quang Hai (R) in Vietnam's friendly match with India in HCMC, September 27, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Star midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai will not join Vietnam's national team at the 2022 AFF Cup later this year as he has to stay with French club Pau FC.

Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of Vietnam Football Federation, said Saturday it has negotiated with Pau but the club decided not to release Hai as AFF Cup is not part of FIFA Days.

"VFF has tried but the club have all the power over this," Anh said.

Since signing with Pau on June 29, Hai has played 10 matches and had two starts for the club. He scored once in their 2-2 draw against Rodez on October 8.

Coach Park Hang-seo has expressed hope that Hai would be able to join his Vietnamese teammates, but has also tested some replacements for Hai at friendly matches last month.

Under Park, Hai played major role in all Vietnam’s international tournaments, including the 2018 AFF Cup when they were crowned champions.

The upcoming AFF Cup will be held from December 23 to January 16.

Hai will not be the only star absent. Thailand's Chanathip Songkrasin earlier said he would spend time recovering from a tense season at J-League 1.

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