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Vietnam should gear up for possible berth if a 48-team World Cup comes: head coach

Friday, May 03, 2019, 16:17 GMT+7
Vietnam should gear up for possible berth if a 48-team World Cup comes: head coach
Vietnam head coach Park Hang Seo speaks at a meeting with media on May 2, 2019. Photo: Ha Duong / Tuoi Tre

While the chances of a 48-team World Cup in Qatar in 2022 remain to be 50/50, the head coach of Vietnam’s national football team has called for thorough preparation so they won’t miss the chance to seal a spot, if the expansion plan is realized.

FIFA is scheduled to hold a Congress meeting on June 5 in Paris, during which football's global governing body may give the final vote on increasing the number of teams from 32 to 48 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It had been earlier planned that the new format would be applied for the 2026 edition.

Speaking of the upcoming big meeting of FIFA, Vietnam head coach Park Hang Seo said during a press conference in Hanoi on Thursday that a 48-team World Cup, if really held, will be a motivation for everyone.

“From the Vietnam Football Federation [VFF] to the players and me, we all need to work hard to grasp this chance,” the South Korean said.

Park added that the team should be prepared to be able to take the opportunity. To this end, Vietnam’s football needs a specific plan and more experts, he added.

The coach elaborated that he merely has expertise in training, while Vietnam team need a whole system of other experts in such fields as nutrition, fitness, and health.

During Thursday’s meeting, Park also briefed the press of the plan for the rest of 2019 of the national and Under-22 teams.

Accordingly, Vietnam will participate in King’s Cup 2019 in June, a tournament considered an important preparation for Vietnam ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, under the invitation from host Thailand.

In the meantime, the U22 team will start their training campaign for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines later this year. Park’s assistant, Kim Han Yoon, has been assigned head coach of the underage squad.

Besides, coach Park said he will also work to reduce the level gap between the players in the U22 age group who play for both the national and U22 squads and the remaining young players of Vietnam U22s.

The South Korean coach also has plans to follow some overseas Vietnamese players who he may consider recruiting to the national team.

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