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AFC: Vietnam likely to play at neutral venue in third WC qualifiers

The Vietnamese national football team may be forced to play their qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup 2022 at a neutral venue if local stadiums currently fail to meet the criteria set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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Vietnam is likely to play at neutral venue in third WC qualifiers.

One of the AFC’s criteria is for all grounds to have VAR technology in order to be permitted to host matches in the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. According to the AFC, participating countries that do not have this technology will be forced to play at neutral venues.

Furthermore, the AFC also requires away teams to isolate for only two days, a policy that is in contrast to Vietnam’s current regulations. Indeed, anyone who enters Vietnam must stay in quarantine for 21 days, and the seven day quarantine rule is for those who are fully vaccinated.

Another issue for the Vietnamese team is that after returning from away games, they will not be able to play their following match at home if they have to undergo seven days of quarantine according to the current regulations set by the Ministry of Health.

The AFC will also establish a so-called "bubble" mechanism, under which football teams must have a completely closed circle of people for both matches and training, with individuals not allowed to leave their respective “bubble”.

The AFC has therefore requested that the VFF send them plans on organising World Cup qualifiers before July 16.

According to the official draw announced on July 1, Vietnam will play in Group B alongside Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, and Oman, all of which are considered to be strong Asian powershouses.

The Vietnamese team will have five home matches in the third round of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.

The first set of fixtures will begin in September, with the reverse fixtures taking place from November until March 2022. 

Source: VOV

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