AFF Cup to allow 30 Vietnamese players

By Lam Thoa   June 13, 2020 | 01:01 pm GMT+7
AFF Cup to allow 30 Vietnamese players
Nguyen Quang Hai tries to get through the thick defense of the Philippines during an AFF Cup semifinal in December 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Instead of the previous 23 player tally, Vietnam is allowed to register up to 30 for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup this year.

The decision was made by AFF in an online meeting Thursday. Each team can select up to 70 players in their preliminary squad list, refined to 30 in the final list. Besides, teams can register 23 players max per game instead of the previous 20.

Tran Quoc Tuan, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) vice president and AFF council member, successfully proposed the application of new FIFA rules, which would increase the number of substitutions from three to five and so reduce the risk of injury.

The AFF Cup 2020 group stage draw is expected to take place around August, after the initial fixture in Thailand was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With Vietnam having effectively contained the virus and the only country in Southeast Asia to have hosted football matches attended by spectators, Tuan further proposed to AFF President Khiev Sameth the draw be hosted in Vietnam.

VFF recently stated Vietnam could end up hosting the tournament as AFF considered a single-nation option to reduce travel. The 2018 format of hosting home and away matches for each team during the group stage will be scrapped if the single nation format is adopted.

Vietnam is currently the defending champion, winning the 2018 AFF Cup title by beating Malaysia 3-2.

Sports events in Vietnam have been suspended since mid-March. Competitive football returned with a National Cup game on May 23 welcoming 10,000 fans to the stadium, garnering attention from global media. Top division V. League 1 returned in early June.

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