Australia may lose home advantage in World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam

By Lam Thoa   August 9, 2021 | 02:49 am PT
Australia may lose home advantage in World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam
Vietnam (red) play Australia in AFC U23 Championship on January 14, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Khoa.
The Socceroos will lose home advantage in the clash with China next month and probably Vietnam because of Australia's quarantine regulations.

The World Cup qualifier between Australia and China was originally scheduled to be played in Sydney on Sept. 2. However, the state government requires two-week quarantine for any international arrivals.

After failing to reach an agreement on the quarantine procedure, Football Australia decided the upcoming match with China would be played in a neutral Asian venue.

If the current Covid-19 situation in Australia continues, the national team would have to keep playing upcoming World Cup qualifiers at neutral venues, including the clash with Vietnam on Jan. 27, 2022. Before this, Australia will first visit Hanoi to play Vietnam in My Dinh National Stadium on Sept. 7, five days after their bout with China.

"If you look at home versus away records at this level, the former count for a lot - it’s an extra player on the pitch. That’s our big challenge at the moment. I’m confident we will be playing at home by the end of the year if we can get things under control, particularly in Sydney," Football Australia CEO James Johnson told media site News Corp.

Vietnam will play Saudi Arabia away on Sept. 2 and return home to play Australia five days later. The national team started training last week. This is their very first time in the final round of World Cup qualifiers.

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