|The women's football team players, coaches and staff at the send-off ceremony for the 2023 World Cup which takes place between July 20 and August 20 in Australia and New Zealand. Photo vtc.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) on July 4 organised a send-off ceremony for the national women's football team as they head to the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
It is the first time that the multi-time SEA Games champions have competed at the world's largest women's football tournament, setting a milestone in the nation's history.
"It is a historic achievement. Our players have overcome many difficulties and challenges during their preparation and competition. But they've made it," said VFF President Trần Quốc Tuấn.
"It was emotional to see coach Mai Đức Chung and his players working hard on the field. They have had tough training courses in Japan and Germany for the World Cup. I hope that our girls will again earn remarkable results and leave beautiful images of Vietnamese people and football to international friends and supporters."
Speaking at the event, coach Mai Đức Chung shared his view that it has been a long journey for the team who have been waiting a long time for a World Cup opportunity. Players, he said, were ready for the tournament.
On behalf of the 23 'diamond girls', the nickname Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính has given them, captain Huỳnh Như said: "It is a dream of not only me but the whole team and Việt Nam's women's football.
|Captain Huỳnh Như promises to be at her best to help Việt Nam gain positive results at the World Cup. VNA/VNS Photo|
"Glory always goes along with responsibility and huge love and trust from our supporters. Winning a place at the World Cup is the biggest mission that we have achieved, bringing Vietnamese football to the world. My teammates and I promise to bring home the most wonderful results."
The send-off event was coorganised by Acecook Việt Nam, a long-time partner of the national teams.
Acecook Việt Nam CEO Kaneda Hiroki announced a sponsorship deal of VNĐ1 billion for the team's World Cup campaign and players will enjoy one-year free Acecook products for their training and competing activities.
Hiroki said it was to encourage the team as part of the company's respect for what they have done, earning outstanding results and being the pride of Việt Nam.
On July 3, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính visited the national women's football team before they embark on their historic World Cup journey.
Presenting gifts to the team at the Việt Nam Football Federation's football field in Hà Nội, PM Chính expressed sympathy for the players who were training in intense heat.
He was happy to see famous former players such as goalkeeper Trần Thị Kim Hồng, midfielder Phùng Thị Minh Nguyệt and Trần Thị Bích Hạnh who were now accompanying with the players in all activities.
PM said it showed Việt Nam's beautiful tradition that predecessors would pass on experience and lessons to their successors to build and protect the country.
He also listened to reports from the VFF President Trần Quốc Tuấn and head coach Mai Đức Chung about the logistics and professional preparation of the team for the World Cup.
He reminded the team that it was currently winter in New Zealand and the weather was totally different compared to Việt Nam. So the managers and coaching board should move to their competition venue as soon as possible to adapt to the new conditions.
The PM was impressed with Việt Nam's performance in a friendly match against Germany during their training course last month. He asked the coaching board to map out suitable plans for different matches.
He wanted the team to compete at the World Cup with the highest determination, iron mind and competitive spirit.
He said being among the world's strongest teams at the World Cup should be seen with great pride. Players should work hard and play hard with the best possible tactics. The team should not shoulder any pressure but compete with solidarity and fair play for the national honour and for the love of supporters.
The team will depart for New Zealand on July 5 to prepare for the group round where they will have two friendly matches against the hosts on July 10 and Spain four days later.
The Australia/New Zealand tournament will begin on July 20. Việt Nam's campaign will begin on July 22 against defending champions the US. They will face Portugal on July 27 and the Netherlands on August 1 in Group E. — VNS