V. League scheduled around national team's World Cup qualifiers

By Hoang Nguyen   February 19, 2021 | 07:00 pm PT
V. League scheduled around national team's World Cup qualifiers
Vietnam national team during a game with the U23 team on December 27, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Minh.
A tentative schedule has been drawn up for the V. League around the national team’s rescheduled Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.

After the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) moved the remaining group G matches of the qualifiers to June because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnam Football Federation and Vietnam Football Joint Stock Company have adjusted domestic league schedules.

If the pandemic is well controlled in Vietnam, football might return in March and temporarily stop around May, enabling the national team to prepare for the tough qualifying matches a month later.

Rounds 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the V. League will be played in March, and the next four in April.

Viettel FC will miss rounds 9 and 10 since they will be playing in the AFC Champions League from April 24 to May 7.

The national team and coach Park Hang-seo are set to have training sessions from May 22 to 28, and on the 31st fly to the venue qualifying matches and continue training there.

Vietnam are scheduled to play Malaysia on June 7, Indonesia on the 11th and the UAE on the 15th.

When the players return to Vietnam, they will be quarantined for at least 14 days, meaning Saigon FC and Hanoi FC will not have their key players for the AFC Cup group stage from June 22 to 28.

In July the V. League’s 11th, 12th and 13th rounds will be played to conclude its first leg.

The second leg will begin in early August.

If Vietnam advance to the final round of World Cup qualifiers, the V. League will pause again from August 23 to September 9 for the national team to prepare.

It will then resume and conclude on September 19.

The AFC will announce the venue for the remaining group G matches on March 15.

Vietnam currently top the group with 11 points and need at least seven points from their last three matches to advance to the final round of qualifying.

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