Vietnam’s top goalkeeper may not be released for 2020 AFF Cup by Thai club

By Hoang Nguyen   April 18, 2020 | 07:02 pm PT
Vietnam’s top goalkeeper may not be released for 2020 AFF Cup by Thai club
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam in Muangthong United jersey. Photo courtesy of Muangthong United.
Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam may not be able to play for Vietnam in the AFF Cup this year due to his club commitments in Thailand.

The Football Federation of Thailand said this week the top division league would resume in August after the Covid-19 situation gets better and go on until December.

The ASEAN Football Confederation (AFF) Cup is scheduled to be played from November 23 to December 31.

According to AFF regulations, Lam’s club, Muangthong United, have the right to keep him and not release him since the AFF Cup is not a FIFA event.

Thailand played in the 2018 AFF Cup without four key players, including their brightest star, Chanathip Songkrasin, who was not released by his club, Japan’s Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo.

The Vietnam Football Federation said, "The AFF Cup is not a FIFA tournament and so it would be no surprise if Muangthong do not let Dang Van Lam participate."

Lam moved to Muangthong in early 2019 from Hai Phong FC for a transfer fee of $300,000 and a salary of $11,000 per month. His contract expires in November 2021.

Two possible replacements for Lam are Viettel FC’s Tran Nguyen Manh and Nguyen Tuan Manh.

The VFF also said it is trying its best to help Vietnamese-Czech keeper Filip Nguyen get Vietnamese citizenship soon so that coach Park Hang-seo has more options.

Lam was injured on February 15 and lost his position at the club to Thai goalie Somporn Yos until the club's last game on March 1. He is also facing a salary cut of up to 50 percent since the league has been suspended due to the pandemic.

Lam was in superb form during the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, letting in only one goal in five games and helping Vietnam top the table.

In the 2018 AFF Cup that Vietnam won, he was named in the team of the tournament after conceding only four goals in eight matches.

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