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Vietnam set for Kyrgyzstan friendly in October

By Hoang Nguyen   June 18, 2020 | 08:05 pm PT
Vietnam set for Kyrgyzstan friendly in October
Kyrgyzstan national team at Asian Cup 2019. Photo courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation.
To prepare for 2022 World Cup qualifiers at the end of the year, Vietnam will play Kyrgyzstan in a friendly on October 8.

With both teams preparing for the World Cup 2022 qualification round, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) and Kyrgyz Football Union (KFU) have planned an exhibition match.

VFF Vice President Tran Quoc Tuan said Kyrgyzstan will clash with Myanmar in World Cup group F qualifiers, but want to first play a friendly against Vietnam, who will take on Malaysia in group G.

When Iraq canceled its friendly with Vietnam in March, the latter invited Kyrgyzstan as replacement, with the game supposed to have taken place on March 26. However, the plan was ruined by Covid-19.

"VFF and KFU rescheduled the match for October 8, but haven't decided on the venue," Tuan said.

During this friendly, coach Park Hang-seo will still be allowed to participate, although in February, Asian Football Confederation (AFC) fined him $5,000 along with suspension in four friendlies due to overreacting against a referee during the SEA Games 30 final last year.

AFC explained the four friendlies would be at U22 level and since the upcoming match against Kyrgyzstan is at national team level, Park can partake.

Kyrgyzstan is currently 96th on the FIFA World Ranking, two places below Vietnam. In the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, they are grouped with Japan, Tajikistan, Myanmar and Mongolia. After five games, they have earned seven points and are placed second behind Japan.

After playing an exhibition match with Vietnam on October 8, Kyrgyzstan will face Myanmar on October 13 while Vietnam clashed with Malaysia on the same day. Later, the Golden Dragons will play Indonesia on November 12 and UAE on 17.

Previously, Iraq also wanted to play a friendly against Vietnam on October 8, but after discussing with Iraq Football Association, VFF decided to call off the deal.

Football recommenced in Vietnam on May 23 after a long pandemic break since mid-March, followed by a series of sports events in June.

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