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Iraq seeks exhibition match against Vietnam

By Hoang Nguyen   June 11, 2020 | 06:09 pm PT
Iraq seeks exhibition match against Vietnam
Vietnam (in red) play Iraq at the Asian Cup on January 8, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Khoa.
Iraq has proposed an exhibition match in October, but the current mandatory quarantine requirement will be a factor in Vietnam’s response.

The Iraq Football Association (IFA) has written to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), proposing an exhibition match between the two countries on October 8.

VFF General Secretary Le Hoai Anh said Vietnam is still considering the proposal because the Vietnamese government only allows experts to enter the country at the moment.

"Even though the Covid-19 prevention campaign in Vietnam is going really well, the government still requires people to follow safety measures strictly.

"Currently, those who enter the country will be quarantined for 14 days. We don’t know if this regulation will still be effective in October or not. Therefore, VFF needs to discuss this carefully with IFA before making the final decision," Anh said.

In mid-February, the IFA had requested the VFF to cancel a friendly between the two countries scheduled for March 26 due to the complicated Covid-19 situation.

Now, with Vietnam able to contain the pandemic, the IFA wants to organize the exhibition match. Another reason for the renewed interest is that FIFA and AFC have confirmed the schedule for the upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifiers in Asia, prompting many national teams to reboot plans to play friendlies in preparation.

If they can play Iraq, a strong national team in Asia, it will be a good warm-up game for Vietnam before playing Malaysia on October 13. Later, they have to play Indonesia on November 12 and UAE on 17.

Sports events including football were suspended in Vietnam since mid-March and resumed late May, starting with the first game of National Cup, which attracted 10,000 fans to the stadium and made international headlines.

Vietnam has gone 56 days without community transmission of the Covid-19 virus. Of the 332 infections recorded so far, 320 have recovered and no deaths recorded.

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