V. League 1 clubs unable to train under strict quarantine rules

By Hoang Nguyen   April 14, 2020 | 06:01 am PT
V. League 1 clubs unable to train under strict quarantine rules
Quang Nam FC players (in blue) in a 2020 V. League 1 game with HCMC FC. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Quarantine regulations are causing problems for V. League 1 clubs who can’t gather players from different localities to train.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) had announced that all domestic leagues, including V. League 1 could return to action May 20 if the Covid-19 situation keeps improving, as it is doing now.

However, to be tournament ready, the V. League 1 clubs need at least three weeks to train for players to get into their groove after a long break imposed by the ongoing pandemic.

Since the players cannot move from their homes to their clubs in different localities, getting teams to train and get fit has proved a difficult task.

Quang Nam FC is one of the clubs facing the problem, with most of their players staying in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. For these players to get to the club’s home ground, the Tam Ky Stadium in Quang Nam Province in central Vietnam, by the middle of this week will be difficult. The main reason is their flights will land at the Da Nang Airport, where people coming in from Hanoi and HCMC are immediately quarantined for two weeks.

"Under the Prime Minister’s request, our club let players go home and return on April 15. I just hope that the situation gets better and the government loosens up the quarantine rules so our players can fly back to Quang Nam. If not, we definitely won't have enough players to get ready, since most of them will be quarantined," said Quang Nam FC coach Vu Hong Viet.

Like Quang Nam FC, most other teams that set a gathering date for their players after April 15 might have to extend it.

Nguyen Huu Thang, president of the HCMC FC, said: "Only when the social distancing order is removed can the players gather with their clubs because they mainly travel by air. Currently they are all training at home. I think even with their athlete physique, the players will still need two to three weeks to find their best form."

In the event of the V.League 1 being delayed until mid-June, Quang Nam FC director Nguyen Hup has suggested that the tournament should only play one leg (13 rounds) this season to pick the champion and one relegated team.

HCMC coach Chung Hae-soung had a different idea. He suggested that after playing one leg, the table is divided into two groups. Group A will consist of the top seven teams that will vie for the title. The bottom seven in group B will play to avoid relegation. The VFF and VPF have received these suggestions and will discuss them before taking a final decision.

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