A fixture between the Vietnamese men’s national football team and Malaysia is at risk of being delayed due to impact of COVID-19 pandemic, according to Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF).
At present the VFF are waiting for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s guidance, information which is based on each country’s regulations regarding COVID-19 prevention and control measures, Anh told Tien Phong newspaper.
According to Malaysia’s New Straits Times, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have asked for permission from relevant agencies to permit the Vietnamese team to be given priority to play in Malaysia.
The Malaysian team, led by manager Tan Cheng Hoe, must play an away game in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Mar. 25, before flying home to prepare for the clash against Vietnam on Mar. 30. Due to this schedule, it is impossible for the Malaysian side to follow regulations regarding a 10-day isolation period.
In terms of Southeast Asia, the COVID-19 pandemic in countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines has seen a number of complicated developments. According to the latest statistics, Malaysia has so far recorded over 95,000 COVID-19 cases, including 438 deaths.
This situation is likely to have an influence on 2022 World Cup qualifiers in the Asian region, although the AFC are still in the process of making a decision.
The match between Vietnam and Malaysia is currently scheduled to take place on Mar. 30 in Kuala Lumpur. The tie is considered an important match if the Vietnamese team are to have any hope of progressing to the next round.
In Group G of the second round of Asian qualifiers, Vietnam lead with 11 points after five matches. They are followed by Malaysia on nine points, Thailand with eight points, the UAE on six points, and Indonesia with no points.
Led by head coach Park Hang-seo, the national team will compete in three more matches against Malaysia, Indonesia, and the UAE in the hope of progressing to the next World Cup qualifying round. VOV
The Vietnamese national team are training in Hanoi to prepare for the upcoming World Cup 2022 second qualifying round.