The pressure for outstanding performance is driving Vietnamese national volleyball teams to hire foreign players to enhance the quality of their squads and compete for top positions in this year's crucial rounds.

Currently, several teams have invested a substantial amount of money to hire foreign players including women's volleyball teams of Duc Giang Chemical, Geleximco Thai Binh, Vietinbank VC, Ha Phu Thanh Hoa, VTV Binh Dien Long An; men's volleyball team Sanest Khanh Hoa, and more.

Outside hitter Odina Aliyeva (No. 5) is a foreign player competing for the VTV Binh Dien Long An team in the upcoming second round. ảnh 1

Outside hitter Odina Aliyeva (No. 5) is a foreign player competing for the VTV Binh Dien Long An team in the upcoming second round.

However, some other teams such as the female team Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank, BTL Information, The Cong, Bien Phong, and Ha Tinh are cautious with foreign players.

Domestic players remain the mainstay of each team's professional skills. Therefore, experts in the field acknowledge that, despite the financial investments in hiring foreign players, if the domestic squad's composition is not cohesive and in harmony, failure is highly likely. Even teams like the male team Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank and Geleximco Thai Binh, the current reigning national champions, are careful when considering foreign players.

This year's National Championship witnesses a significant number of teams traveling abroad for training. Women's teams like Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank, BTL Information, and men's teams such as The Cong and Bien Phong are currently training and competing in friendly matches in Thailand. This training serves not only to enhance their professional skills but also as an opportunity for teams to recruit the most suitable foreign players to strengthen their lineups.

Meanwhile, player Nguyen Thi Bich Tuyen of the female Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank team, who is receiving particular attention from Vietnamese volleyball enthusiasts, is believed to have suffered an injury during her training with the Vietnamese women's national volleyball team in April 2023. However, some in the sports community have raised questions about her gender, speculating that Bich Tuyen might not be a female athlete after many times she refused the gender verification. This led to her withdrawal from the national team to avoid potential gender-related disputes with international teams.

Regarding this matter, Mr. Le Tri Truong, the General Secretary of the Vietnam Volleyball Federation, stated that before the second round commences, all teams will participate in a technical meeting, and any concerns will be addressed by the Organizing Committee. If no team raises any issues, the Organizing Committee will proceed with tournament management as per the regulations.

According to the Vietnam Volleyball Federation, the second round of the 2023 National Volleyball Championship will take place from November 3 to November 26 in the Central city of Da Nang and the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong.

In Dak Nong, Group C male will feature the teams of Sanest Khanh Hoa, The Cong, Ha Tinh, Lavie Long An, and HCMC while Group D female includes Duc Giang Chemical, Quang Ninh, VTV Binh Dien Long An, Kinh Bac Bac Ninh, and Ha Phu Thanh Hoa. Group D male teams competing in Da Nang include Bien Phong, Da Nang, Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank, Hanoi, Binh Duong Construction Materials. The women's competition will have Group C, consisting of Ninh Binh LienVietPostBank, BTL Information, Geleximco Thai Binh, HCMC, and Vietinbank VC.

In the second round of the 2023 National Volleyball Championship, the top four men's and top four women's teams from each group will advance to the finals. Meanwhile, the two lowest-ranked men's and women's teams will compete in the lower division in the upcoming season. The final ranking matches will take place from November 16 to November 19.

Source: SGGP