National team to head abroad early for World Cup Asian qualifiers

By Lam Thoa   March 5, 2021 | 04:42 pm GMT+7
National team to head abroad early for World Cup Asian qualifiers
Coach Park Hang-seo and players in a training session of the national team in December 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
The Golden Dragons plan to head out to UAE, currently the main host contender for remaining World Cup Asian qualifiers, a week early to acclimatize.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, teams in group G of World Cup Asian qualifiers will play their remaining games at a centralized venue. Both UAE and Thailand have expressed their desire to host the games, though Asian Football Federation will most likely choose the former since it can fulfill all stadium, training ground, accommodation, Covid-19 prevention and cost requirements.

What concerns Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo the most is the scorching weather in UAE, where the heat and high humidity could fast deplete player stamina. Park wants the national team to train at a location with similar weather as UAE.

However, because of the pandemic, it will be difficult for the squad to train abroad. Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will arrange for the team to go to UAE a week early to acclimatize.

The national team is expected to gather for training in May, when V. League is on break. They will have around a month to prepare for the three big games, with Indonesia on June 7, Malaysia on the 11th and UAE on the 15th.

VFF will also propose vaccinating the national team before competing in World Cup Asian qualifiers. Though the first batch of vaccines from AstraZeneca will be administered to prioritized groups on March 8, footballers are not included.

Vietnam is topping group G with 11 points after five games. The Golden Dragons will enter the final round of World Cup Asian qualifiers for the first time in history if they score seven points from three games.

 
 
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