|Việt Nam’s U-19 team. — Photo baogiaothong.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — World Cup 2026 will have 48 teams taking part but the chance for Việt Nam to compete in the tournament is very difficult, a football federation official said.
General Secretary of the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) Lê Hoài Anh said following the recent FIFA’s decision that the 2026 World Cup will be expanded to host 48 teams, up from 32.
This will open many opportunities for members of FIFA, including Việt Nam. However, evaluating the ability of Việt Nam to earn a ticket to compete in the world largest football event in the next 10 years, is something VFF would have to examine carefully.
According to Anh, at present Việt Nam rank 21st out of 46 teams in the Asia. If Việt Nam want to enter the Cup, they must rank in the top 10 in the continent.
“As scheduled, Asia will have eight or nine slots up for grabs in the Cup. To complete the dream of playing in the Cup, we must stand in the top 10. That is very difficult task,” Anh said.
However, Anh said the VFF will continue investing in young teams such as U-16 and U-19, then Việt Nam will have a hope of winning a place in the World Cup in 10 next years.
Việt Nam’s U-19 team qualified to the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017. Despite being considered the underdogs of Group B of the Asian U19 Football Championship in Bahrain last October, Việt Nam beat a stronger North Korea 2-1, tied the UAE 1-1 and drew Iraq 0-0 to advance to the quarter-finals. In the last 16, Việt Nam defeated the host 1-0 and became one of four best teams of the tournament to represent Asia at the World Cup in South Korea. — VNS