AFF-EAFF Champions Trophy may be delayed

Update: February, 23/2019 - 09:00
Vietnamese midfielder Nguyễn Quang Hải (middle) in action against South Korean players in the 2018 Asian Cup. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The match between Việt Nam and South Korea to decide who wins the AFF-EAFF Champions Trophy could be delayed until next year, according to the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF).

Việt Nam qualified for the match as the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup winners, while South Korea won the East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) Championship. The first edition was planned for March 26 at Mỹ Đình Stadium in Hà Nội, but this date conflicts with Việt Nam’s participation in the qualifying round of the AFC U23 Asian Championship 2020. With many senior national team footballers also playing for the U23 team, Việt Nam would not have the best line-up available to take on South Korea.

The match between the AFF Cup winners and EAFF winners was established as part of a deal signed between the two football federations at a meeting in Hà Nội last December.

According to the deal, the winners of the AFF Cup will play the winners of the EAFF E-1 Football Championship in a new competition, named the AFF-EAFF Champions Trophy, every two years.

Speaking to South Korean media, Việt Nam’s head coach Park Hang-seo said Việt Nam did not have many chances to face South Korea, a strong rival. If it happened, the match would be a wonderful experience for Việt Nam. However, Việt Nam could not delay the qualifying round of AFC U23 event to face South Korea. Although Việt Nam hoped to face South Korea, the AFC U23 Asian Championship qualification was still more important.

In response, the South Korea Football Association announced they will play the Colombian national team instead of Việt Nam in a friendly match on March 26. — VNS