V. League club proposes to host Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers games

By Lam Thoa   September 14, 2021 | 11:36 pm PT
V. League club proposes to host Vietnam's World Cup qualifiers games
Vietnam (in red) play Australia in World Cup qualifiers at My Dinh National Stadium on September 7, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Hai Phong FC has proposed to host two of Vietnam's home games in World Cup qualifiers at their stadium Lach Tray, following comments of My Dinh Stadium's poor quality.

On Monday, the club's chairman Van Tran Hoan sent the proposal to Hai Phong City People’s Committee and Hai Phong’s Department of Culture and Sports to discuss with Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) about hosting Vietnam’s games with Saudi Arabia on November 16 and China on February 1 next year at Lach Tray Stadium instead of My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi as usual.

"After the game with Australia, My Dinh Stadium has received negative feedback on the pitch conditions and this affects the image of the country. Therefore, we want to host the next games at Lach Tray. Our stadium has just been renovated and it’s really nice. If the People’s Committee of the city agrees, we will continue to work with VFF on this proposal," Hoan said.

After the 1-0 victory against Vietnam, Australia coach Graham Arnold complained about the poor pitch quality of My Dinh Stadium, which caused difficulties for the team. Some Australian media outlets even called the stadium a "cow paddock".

"The team needs to play at a good venue and Lach Tray can meet the requirements," Hoan added.

My Dinh Stadium is managed by the Hanoi Department of Physical Education and Sports. VFF has to pay a fee every time the national team plays there.

In response to the criticism on the pitch conditions, Director of Vietnam’s National Sports Complex Nguyen Trong Ho said: "The stadium is fine. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has tested and evaluated carefully before deciding to let it host the game there."

VFF officials said they haven't received the proposal document from Hai Phong. However, the chance for Lach Tray, which is two hours driver away, to host the games is slim because of AFC’s regulations. For instance, the venue must have an international airport, a five-star hotel for the whole team to stay in and quality training grounds near the stadium.

Vietnam are standing next to last in group B of World Cup qualifiers after losing 1-3 to Saudi Arabia and 0-1 to Australia. The team will return to training on Thursday to prepare for the next two games in October, against China and Omar.

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