Vietnam's football tournaments could possibly resume from the middle of next month if the necessary conditions are ensured, regarding the control of the COVID-19 pandemic and the permission from authorised agencies.
The announcement was made by the Vietnam Professional Football Company (VPF) based on opinions collected from V.League clubs at a recent online meeting and those in written form from First Division teams.
Accordingly, Vietnam's 2020 football season is expected to resume on May 15 with matches of the Bamboo Airways National Cup 2020, followed by the return of the V.League 2020 with its Matchday 3 clashes in the third week of the month.
However, depending on the developments of the pandemic and the Prime Minister's directive on COVID-19 response, the organisers will adjust and update the specific restart schedule in line with reality, and inform clubs within the shortest possible time.
Permanent Vice President of the Vietnam Football Federation Tran Quoc Tuan once emphasised the significance of the V.League 2020, and affirmed that there would never be a prospect of the tournament being cancelled as some comments had previously suggested.
FIFA plans to shorten World Cup 2022 qualifiers: How will it benefit Vietnam?
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIFA is considering reducing the number of matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers due to the pandemic, which could boost Vietnam's chances of qualifying for the tournament for the first time ever.
The world football governing body recently discussed plans to postpone all matches in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers this year until 2021. The plan would mean a very tight schedule, with the Euros, Copa America and Olympics currently slated for next year.
To deal with the issue, FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani said the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign could be shortened from the original plan. Accordingly, for the Asian qualifiers, FIFA plans to remove the home-away format in the third (and final) qualifying round and apply a single round-robin format at a solitary venue. If the plan is approved, Vietnam will be among the teams to benefit the most from it.
Park Hang-seo's side currently leads Group G in the second qualifying round with 11 points following an unbeaten run (three wins, two draws), the Golden Stars need to earn 4-6 points from the remaining three matches (against Malaysia, Indonesia and the UAE) to guarantee themselves a ticket to the next stage. This possibility is quite high as Vietnamese players are in relatively stable form.
If the third qualifying round, which features 12 teams in two groups of six, is played under the original (home-away) format, Park's troops will have to engage in 10 clashes in 2021. However, according to the latest recommendations by FIFA, the number of matches will be reduced by half, which will bring the Golden Stars closer to the 2022 Qatar World Cup than ever.
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