|Footballers for the future: Coach Hoang Van Phuc looks on as a member of the U23 team takes a shot in a practice session at the youth football training centre in Ha Noi. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam paid a high price for poor performance at the Southeast Asian Football Championship, missing out on a top seed for the 2014 Southeast Asian Football Championship.
The nation has been among the top four seeds in the last two championships since winning the competition in 2008 and scraping fourth place in 2010.
However, after an embarrassing elimination from the group stages in 2012, Viet Nam has struggled to recover from a massive loss in points, falling behind other teams in the region in the lead up to the 2014 Championship.
The announcement was made at the Southeast Asia Football Federation's football congress held in Timor Leste on Tuesday, where Viet Nam was named sixth seed in the upcoming draw.
"Losing the status as a group seed, Viet Nam may face some disadvantage as it is very likely to be drawn into a tough group, which may be made up of unwanted opponents," said current head coach Hoang Van Phuc.
Phuc, who leads the under-23 team with the goal of reaching the finals at the Myanmar Southeast Asian Games this November, said he was not aware of any plans to hire a new coach for the national team.
"I am still the head coach of the U23 team and national team. Coach Nguyen Van Sy is a necessary addition to the coaching staff. He is not the new head coach of the national team," he said.
Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam have automatically qualified for the eight-team championship. Two others will be determined in qualifying rounds between Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Timor Leste.
The qualifiers have been scheduled to take place in Vientiane, Laos from October 8-19. The championship will be co-hosted by Singapore and Viet Nam from November 11 to December 20, 2014. — VNS