HÀ NỘI — FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) have announced upcoming World Cup 2022 qualifying matches slated for the autumn have been postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the two football governing bodies said the matches, which act as qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup and the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, would be held next year instead of this October and November over health and safety concerns.
“With the aim of protecting the health and safety of all participants, FIFA and the AFC will continue to work together to closely monitor the situation in the region and to identify new dates for the respective qualifying matches.
“Further details on the new dates for the next round of qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup 2023 will be announced in due course,” the statement read.
The Viet Nam national team had been slated to play their final three games of Group G in the second qualifying round later this year, with one home match against Indonesia and away fixtures to Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.
Coach Park Hang-seo’s men currently lead the group with 11 points from five games, two clear of Malaysia in second place.
The squad is slated to convene for a training camp at the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Football Training Centre in the northern province of Hưng Yen on August 18, originally schedule to prepare for the upcoming qualifiers.
With the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup also postponed until next year, it could be some time before the national team plays another competitive fixture.
The team’s last match in the World Cup qualifiers was on November 19 last year, a 0-0 draw with fierce rivals Thailand at home in Ha Noi’s Mỹ Đình Stadium. — VNS
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