Vietnam keep home advantage in final World Cup qualifying round

By Lam Thoa   July 14, 2021 | 05:47 am PT
Vietnam keep home advantage in final World Cup qualifying round
Vietnam players (in red) celebrate in the 2-1 World Cup qualifiers victory over Malaysia on June 11, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
Vietnam's home games in the final World Cup qualifying round will take place in their home stadium as the country has accepted to exempt guest teams from quarantine.

In a conference on Wednesday with the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), ministries and departments have approved VFF's request to exempt quarantine for the away teams when they come to Vietnam. The teams will have to guarantee that they have been vaccinated for Covid-19 twice and test negative for the virus before entering Vietnam.

VFF will also coordinate with Hanoi authorities to ensure safety and Covid-19 prevention. The members of Vietnam and the away teams, as well as the organizers, will stay in one hotel with strict measures. No one is allowed to get out of the hotel, with the exception of going to the training ground or the competition venue, in order to limit the chance of transmission.

This method was successfully applied by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in the second qualifying round of World Cup last month in the UAE, where Vietnam played the remaining matches of group G with UAE, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Previously, with the country’s strict measure to quarantine all international entries in 21 days, Vietnam almost have to play their home games in centralized venues because AFC regulated that if any team wish to play their matches on home ground, they have to guarantee the away team won’t have to enter quarantine on arrival. AFC said a long period of quarantine could affect player form as well as the performance of away teams.

VFF had already considered different options for the centralized venue like Thailand or UAE, where doesn’t require long-period quarantine for international visitors.

Playing on the home ground, My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, will give Vietnam advantages of the weather, fans and mentality.

This is the first time Vietnam play in the final round of World Cup qualifiers. The team are in group B with Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China and Oman.

The Golden Dragons will gather for training in August before playing Saudi Arabia on September 9.

Vietnam's journey to the final World Cup qualifying round. Video by Hoang Khanh.

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