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Vietnam vie for slot at FIFA Futsal World Cup

Vietnam’s futsal team will compete with Thailand, Iraq and Lebanon in a play-off round for two slots at the rescheduled 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has announced.

Accordingly, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) officially announced the decision to hold a play-off round to choose two out of five Asian spots to attend the upcoming finals, hosted by Lithuania from September 12 to October 3.

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Vietnamese players will join peers from Thailand, Iraq and Lebanon in a play-off round to compete for two tickets to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup.

As the 2020 AFC Futsal Championship was cancelled due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the AFC was given three options to choose its five representatives to attend the Futsal World Cup. Option 1 was based on the performance of teams in the 2018 tournament. Option 2 was based on the results of the last three seasons (2014, 2016, 2018) and option 3 was hosting a play-offs for a group of teams ranked from 4th to 7th in Asia to select two teams to participate in the FIFA Futsal World Cup with three automatic slots for Iran, Japan and Uzbekistan.

At a meeting of the AFC Executive Committee held in early April, Tran Quoc Tuan, VFF Vice Permanent President cum Member of the AFC Executive Committee, expressed his wish that the selection of Asian representatives to attend the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup must ensure the essential requirements and benefits of the overall growth of Asian futsal. In addition to factors relating to teams’ achievements, it is also necessary to consider the best solution to enable representatives from different regions across Asia to be present at a world futsal playground of great benefit to the continent's futsal movement.

Based on consultation with all members, the AFC Executive Committee agreed to host a play-off round amongst the four teams with rankings from 4th to 7th in Asia, including Vietnam, Thailand, Iraq and Lebanon. The format as well as the schedule and venues for the play-offs will be announced by AFC in the near future.

Despite the negative influence of Covid-19, in 2020, Vietnam’s futsal team still had two training camps, including a tour to Spain. A very favourable point for the team’s preparations ahead of the World Cup in 2021 was that the 2021 HD Bank National Futsal Championship was still held with a high level of quality, in the context of many countries in Asia and the world still suffering from the pandemic, thereby helping Vietnamese players maintain and develop their form.

Based on the AFC's play-off schedule, the VFF will develop the most effective plan possible for the team, the Vietnamese football governing body has announced.

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Source: NDO

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