Saigon FC keen to host AFC Cup group stage in Vietnam

By Duc Dong   February 2, 2021 | 12:00 am PT
Saigon FC keen to host AFC Cup group stage in Vietnam
Saigon FC win third place in V. League 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Saigon FC are seeking to host group H matches of the AFC Cup 2021 group stage, which are set to take place at a centralized venue.

"We have contacted Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and its international relations department to obtain the rights to host AFC Cup 2021 group stage matches. We want fans in Ho Chi Minh City to enjoy our AFC Cup games at our home stadium," Saigon FC Chairman Tran Hoa Binh said.

In AFC Cup 2021, Saigon are in group H with Malaysian side Kedah Darul Aman, Singapore’s Lion City Sailors and a play-off winner, who would be either from Laos, Myanmar or Brunei. With weaker opponents in the group, Saigon is expected to sail through to the next round.

The group stage of AFC Cup 2021’s ASEAN Zone is set for June 22 to 28 and matches will be played in one venue. Clubs will have to undergo quarantine for two weeks. With Vietnam having been praised for its Covid-19 prevention, Saigon are confident to meet all the requirements to host group H games.

This is the first time Saigon will play in an AFC Cup event. They qualified for the tournament by peaking third in V. League last year.

Hanoi FC is another representative of Vietnam in AFC Cup this year, as National Cup winner and runner-up of V. League last year. This is their fifth appearance in AFC Cup.

In this year’s edition, the AFC Cup group stage has increased the number of clubs to 39, three more compared to previous tournaments, with a new Central Asia Zone group. The first and second placed for each group would advance to the next round.

The champions of AFC Cup 2021 will also be awarded a spot in the preliminary stage of 2022 AFC Champions League.

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