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Star midfielder heading abroad has Vietnam head coach worried

By Lam Thoa   March 16, 2022 | 03:15 am PT
Star midfielder heading abroad has Vietnam head coach worried
Nguyen Quang Hai (L) and coach Park Hang-seo at the sideline of SEA Games 30 final in 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Park Hang-seo said if midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai decides to play football in another country, it would affect the national team.

"Quang Hai's decision will affect the plans of the Vietnam national team. We don't have anyone better than Hai in that position. I think Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will have to take action when Hai signs a contract abroad so it can benefit the national team. That's the job of VFF, not mine," Park said Tuesday.

Hai's contract with Hanoi FC is about to expire, but he didn't want to extend. The 25-year-old is likely to move to a club in Europe with the desire to seek a new challenge after winning every domestic title possible in Vietnam. If this happens, it will be hard for Hai to gather with the team regularly, as he can only return to Vietnam on the international calendar of FIFA. He won't be able to play at SEA Games 31 because it's not a FIFA tournament. The same goes for AFF Cup.

However, VFF has no right to interfere in Hai's contract with any club outside Vietnam.

Hai didn't gather with the team on Tuesday as he is preparing for Hanoi's next V. League game. Park was not happy with this, especially since Vietnam are missing many key players for the World Cup qualifier with Oman. At least seven important players are facing different problems like Covid-19 infection and injuries.

"I hope that there will be no players that get injured in the next game of Hanoi. I don't understand why a V. League game is hosted during this time, when the national team start training," Park said.

After seven straight losses in the final round of World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam got their first win with a 3-1 victory against China on Feb. 1. For the upcoming clash with Oman, Park refused to comment on the target for the game.

"I won't talk about the target because I'll be criticized if we don't achieve it. Of course as a coach I always want to win. The important thing is that in every game, the players have to show their effort and spirit at the highest level," Park added.

Vietnam will play Oman on March 24 and then Japan five days later.

 
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