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Vietnam to play Futsal World Cup qualifiers

By Hoang Nguyen   April 21, 2021 | 07:52 pm PT
Vietnam to play Futsal World Cup qualifiers
Tran Thai Huy celebrates after scoring in the third-place play-off of Asian Futsal Championship against Myanmar on October 27, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Four teams, including Vietnam, will battle in play-offs for two slots from Asia at the 2021 Futsal World Cup.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) handed direct slots to Iran, Japan and Uzbekistan, while Vietnam, Thailand, Iraq, and Lebanon will play for the remaining two places.

The venues and schedule for the qualifiers will be announced later.

Thailand, ranked 18th in the world, are a favorite to qualify. Vietnam, Lebanon and Iraq are ranked 44th, 40th and 56th.

Last year Vietnam had hoped to finish in the top five at the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship in Kuwait to qualify for the World Cup, but the Covid-19 pandemic caused the tournament to be rescheduled thrice before finally being canceled this year.

The AFC then decided to nominate three representatives based on rankings and results at previous tournaments and have the other two teams qualify.

The Vietnamese team are coached by Pham Minh Giang, who also manages the country's top futsal club, Thai Son Nam. He helped the club win the league and the national cup last year.

Earlier this year he was named one of the best coaches in the world at the Futsal Planet Awards.

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