Coach cancels national team training, calls up U22 squad instead

By Dong Huyen   August 14, 2020 | 06:30 pm PT
With the World Cup 2022 qualifiers postponed further, coach Park Hang-seo has called up the U22 team to prepare for the SEA Games.

The coach had initially set a training schedule for the national team from August 16 to 23 to prepare for the World Cup 2022 qualifiers set to be played in October and November. However, after FIFA and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decided to move the qualification matches to 2021, Park changed his plans.

He will now focus on the U22 team that will take part in SEA Games 31 Vietnam will host next year.

The U22 players during training in July 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.

The U22 players during training in July 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.

Park has called up 48 U22 players for the August 16-26 training session in Hanoi. The list includes young players from the V. League 1, V. League 2 and lower leagues.

No player from SHB Da Nang has been called because the club is located in the country’s current Covid-19 hotspot. All players will have medical checks done in Hanoi on August 16 and start training on the 18th.

All 66 players and members of the coaching group will be tested for Covid-19 on Sunday, August 16.

SEA Games 31 will be held in Hanoi and other nearby provinces from November 21 to December 2 next year. The event will feature 40 sports with 500 categories.

The U22 team has a mission to defend the gold medal that they won at the SEA Games 2019.

With the AFF Cup also postponed to April next year, the national team will not play in any international tournament this year.

They are the defending champions of AFF Cup and are currently leading group G in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers with 11 points after five games. They need a minimum of seven points from the remaining three matches to advance to the next round.

Football has come to a standstill in the country after Covid-19 resurfaced late July, breaking more than three months without community transmission of the novel coronavirus. All competitions have been postponed.

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