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Vietnam to allow foreign sports experts special entry

By Nguyen Quy   June 4, 2020 | 08:30 pm PT
Vietnam to allow foreign sports experts special entry
Nguyen Huy Hoang competes at 2019 SEA Games. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Duong.
The Vietnam Sports Administration (VSA) is seeking government approval for international sports experts and coaches to enter Vietnam and prepare for upcoming tournaments.

The administration has compiled a list of foreign experts and coaches for Vietnam’s swimming, table tennis, archery, and sailing teams, and other urgent cases who should be given priority in facilitating entry into Vietnam as soon as possible.

Before entering Vietnam, they would be required to show Covid-19 negative certificates issued by competent authorities and would be placed under quarantine for 14 days and tested for Covid-19 after entering the country, said head of VSA’s International Cooperation Office, Nguyen Hai Duong.

Given the suspension of international flights, Chinese experts in swimming, table tennis, and archery will enter Vietnam by road.

"We’re currently completing procedures and sending dispatches to authorities in the northern provinces that border China to facilitate the entry of the Chinese experts," Duong said.

Vietnam’s swimming team is awaiting the arrival of Chinese expert Huang Guohui to train young swimmer Nguyen Huy Hoang for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Over the past six months since Vietnam suspended all flights to and from China after the first novel coronavirus cases were reported last year, Huang hasn’t returned to Vietnam and has been forced to communicate with Vietnamese swimmers online.

His main task in the coming time is to help 20-year-old Hoang, the only Vietnamese swimmer who has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, to improve on his performances at the competition, which has been postponed until 2021 over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Another Chinese expert, Yu Zhiguo, who has worked with the Vietnamese national table tennis team since mid-last year, returned to his hometown in Shenzhen City in China’s Guangdong Province last December and hasn't returned yet because of flight ban.

The Vietnamese national table tennis team needs his coaching to prepare for the run up to the 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships in South Korea this September and the biennial Southeast Asian Table Tennis Championships in October.

Joseph Donnelly, an Australian sailing expert, is expected to board a repatriation flight from Australia that will also carry Vietnamese citizens home, Duong said.

Vietnam suspended entry for all foreign nationals on March 22 and suspended international flights on March 25.

Only Vietnamese nationals and foreigners carrying diplomatic and official passports such as business managers, experts and high-skilled workers are allowed to enter the country at this time, and all entrants will be quarantined for 14 days.

Vietnam had decided in March to postpone all sports events in the country. Football, futsal and cycling have returned to action since late May.

The country has begun its 50th day without community transmission of the novel coronavirus. Of the 328 Covid-19 cases confirmed so far, 302 have recovered, leaving 26 active cases.

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