HCMC FC to pitch up for Singapore clash after AFC refuses defer

By Dang Khoa   February 19, 2020 | 04:42 pm PT
HCMC FC to pitch up for Singapore clash after AFC refuses defer
HCMC FC (red) play Yangon United at the AFC Cup 2020 at Thuwunna Stadium, Yangon, Myanmar, February 11, 2019. Photo courtesy of HCMC FC's Facebook page.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) denied HCMC FC's match suspension request against Hougang United FC over coronavirus fears in Singapore.

The game will proceed at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium on February 25, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) FC stated Wednesday via Facebook.

The squad is currently training in neighboring Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to protect the squad from the coronavirus epidemic. The coastal province has not reported any infection while the busy HCMC has three.

Chairman of HCMC FC Nguyen Huu Thang and General Secretary of Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Le Hoai Anh sent the request to AFC on Monday asking to reschedule the match in Singapore, where the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is more severe than in Vietnam, having infected 81 people as of Wednesday.

Thang told local media earlier this week his team is not at ease while the number of coronavirus infections remains on the rise in Singapore.

According to a previous report, AFC had agreed to move the home games of two Vietnamese clubs HCMC FC and Than Quang Ninh from February to April and May.

The AFC Cup ASEAN zone group stage sees the participation of 12 clubs across the region.

First detected in China’s Wuhan City last December, the new coronavirus has caused several Vietnamese football tournaments, including V-League and National Cup, to be delayed until March.

On Monday, VFF and Iraq Football Association (IFA) confirmed the preparatory friendly between Vietnam and Iraq ahead of next month’s World Cup qualification match had been canceled was concerned about the development of the epidemic in Vietnam.

VFF said it would choose a Vietnamese club for the practice match since not many teams are willing to travel to Southeast Asia due to the outbreak. 

Vietnam declared the coronavirus outbreak an epidemic on February 1. The country has reported 16 infection cases, 11 of whom have been discharged from hospital.

The global death toll had reached 2,012, predominantly in China; and confirmed infections topped 75,000. 14,800 patients have recovered.

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