Left-back Nguyen Phong Hong Duy refutes claims of leaving Vietnam national team for wedding

By Lam Thoa, Minh Khang   May 29, 2024 | 11:22 pm PT
Left-back Nguyen Phong Hong Duy has denied claims that he opted out of the Vietnam national team call-up for upcoming matches in June to prepare for his wedding with fiancée Pham Kieu Oanh.
Left-back Nguyen Phong Hong Duy (L) and his wife Pham Kieu Oanh. Photo from Oanhs Facebook

Left-back Nguyen Phong Hong Duy (L) and his wife Pham Kieu Oanh. Photo from Oanh's Facebook

"There is no truth to the rumors that I requested to leave the team for personal reasons," he stated to VnExpress on May 28. "It has always been my desire to fight for the national team."

Duy explained that on May 27, a VFF representative called him to confirm his inclusion in the upcoming national team camp. During the call, the representative also asked about his wedding plans. Duy mentioned his wedding was set for June 2 in Binh Phuoc, his native region in the Southeast region. With Vietnam scheduled to face the Philippines on June 6 and Iraq on June 12 in the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Duy expressed his readiness to join the team right after his wedding if needed.

"The VFF representative told me they would need to discuss this schedule with coach Kim Sang-sik and would get back to me," Duy said. "Later that afternoon, when the VFF released the team roster, I found my name was not on it. I did not ask to be left out."

The VFF noted that having Duy travel from Binh Phuoc to Hanoi on June 3 would allow him only two training sessions before the match against the Philippines. Moreover, they were concerned that wedding-related distractions could affect his mental and physical readiness. Consequently, coach Kim opted not to include Duy in this roster.

After the national team lineup for June was announced, rumors circulated that Duy had voluntarily withdrawn to prepare for his wedding, leading some online commentators to accuse him on social media of not prioritizing the national team’s honor and suggesting that he should be permanently excluded.

Earlier this month, Duy and Oanh held their first wedding ceremony in Oanh’s hometown in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai. The couple had been in a relationship for four years prior to their marriage.

Due to their commitments with the national team for the June games, several of Duy’s teammates, such as midfielder Nguyen Tuan Anh, striker Nguyen Van Toan, and defenders Vu Van Thanh and Do Duy Manh, will likely miss his second wedding. However, other footballers are expected to attend, as the wedding aligns with the V. League’s break.

Duy, 28, debuted on the national team in 2017. He was part of the 2018 AFF Cup-winning squad and currently plays for Thep Xanh Nam Dinh Football Club.

Oanh, 29, is the daughter of a Gia Lai-based rubber company’s general director. She holds a master’s degree in Vietnamese Studies from the University of Education at Da Nang University and runs her own jewelry and feng shui gemstone shop.

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