Vietnam unable to arrange friendlies ahead of major football tournaments

By Lam Thoa   May 25, 2020 | 11:40 pm PT
Vietnam unable to arrange friendlies ahead of major football tournaments
Coach Park Hang-seo clears a stadium for Vietnam's training at SEA Games 30 in the Philippines, November 26, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Vietnam, who have two major tournaments this year, badly need to play some friendlies, but cannot find opponents amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The national team will gather for training in September to prepare for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and 2020 AFF Cup. But coach Park Hang-seo wants to try out various formations and players to find the best lineup, and the only way he can do that is in matches.

The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) cannot find teams willing to play friendly matches.

VFF secretary Le Hoai Anh said: "Covid-19 has been controlled in Vietnam. But in other countries, they are still facing difficulties. We have contacted many teams, but have not sealed the deal."

But he assured that "the VFF will make sure the national team can play a few friendlies so that Park and his players will have the best preparation."

If the Covid-19 situation is controlled globally, the VFF in fact plans to have the national team train overseas, he said.

"The target for coach Park Hang-seo is to try his best to defend the AFF Cup title. The national team will enter the tournament with the strongest squad. Both V. League 1 and V. League 2 are scheduled to conclude by the end of September so that Vietnam had more time for preparation."

Vietnam will play in the AFF Cup, in which they are the defending champions, from November 23 to December 31.

They had won the title in 2018 beating Malaysia 3-2 in a two-legged final.

According to the latest schedule for the World Cup qualifiers, Vietnam will play Malaysia on October 13, Indonesia on November 12 and UAE five days later.

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