|The Vietnamese national team will compete in the friendly tournament next month in Việt Nam. Photo vov.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) plans to invite another Asian national team to replace India to participate in the upcoming friendly tournament in Việt Nam.
Matches are planned to take place in September when the domestic leagues take a break.
But the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has now been suspended by FIFA due to undue influence from third parties, which constitutes a serious violation of the FIFA Statutes.
Following the suspension, the AIFF won’t be allowed to participate in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, with the Philippines being an alternative. Furthermore, the Indian national team will not play in any international matches, including the friendly tournament in Việt Nam.
The suspension also means the Indian league champions won't be able to participate in any continental tournaments, including the AFC Cup - Inter Zone's Semi-Finals against an ASEAN Zone club. In addition, India won't be hosting FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
The VFF has now sent invitations to several strong Asian teams and is still waiting for their answers.
Lê Hoài Anh, general secretary of the VFF said: "The VFF will try its best so that India's absence from the upcoming friendly tournament will not greatly affect the synchronous plan of VFF and Vietnamese football. From now to the friendly tournament, there is about one month left, so there is still time for the VFF to invite a quality opponent, besides the Singapore team."
Việt Nam will play Singapore on September 21 and another national team on September 27, with the match between Singapore and the other national team set to take place on September 24. All matches will be played at the Thống Nhất Stadium in HCM City.
In the case that there is no team to replace India, the Vietnamese team will only have a friendly match with Singapore.
According to FIFA's regulations, the teams ranked from 1-25 in Asia will not have to play in the first qualifying round but directly into the second qualifying round of the 2026 World Cup.
Việt Nam is No 17 in Asia so if Việt Nam has many friendly matches with good results, Việt Nam can move up in the rankings and have many advantages in the World Cup.
To prepare for the international friendly tournament, Vietnamese players will gather on September 17. Most likely, Việt Nam will welcome the return of defender Đoàn Văn Hậu after nearly a year of absence due to injury as well as Bình Định’s rookie Đặng Văn Lâm. — VNS