Ho Chi Minh City FC and Than Quang Ninh FC will replace Hanoi FC to compete in tourneys for clubs organized by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 2020, as the Capital Team have been disqualified from the competitions over youth football issues.
The first two clubs ranked second and third, respectively, in the 2019 V-League 1 – which is Vietnam’s top-flight tournament – while Hanoi FC claimed the league title and National Cup at the same time.
When the winners of the league and National Cup are disqualified from Asian competitions, those clubs finishing the league as runners-up and in third place can take the berths if they meet AFC requirements, Le Hoai Anh, general secretary of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) said in a meeting on Saturday, citing AFC regulations.
The AFC organizes the AFC Cup and AFC Champions League for continental clubs annually.
“Ho Chi Minh City FC and Than Quang Ninh FC have been granted the permit to join the AFC tourneys in 2020,” Anh said.
“AFC officials will visit the two clubs in the coming time for a double-check of their facilities.”
The double-check is just a formality as the two clubs have been formally permitted to compete at Asian level.
Hanoi FC were disqualified from the AFC tourneys in 2020 for their failure to send a youth team to play in national junior competitions in 2019.
They appealed against the disqualification but the AFC rejected the plea.
From 2020, the ASEAN Football Federation will hold the ASEAN Club Championship for clubs from 12 member associations, with prize money totaling US$500,000, Anh from the VFF said in Saturday’s meeting.
The member associations include Vietnam, Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore, and Timor-Leste.
Vietnam will send two clubs to the championship, to take place from May to November.
The two clubs will be different from those competing in the AFC competitions, Anh noted, adding no specific teams have been chosen.