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Central Asian team replace Iraq to play friendly with Vietnam

Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:30 GMT+7
Central Asian team replace Iraq to play friendly with Vietnam
Vietnamese players celebrate a goal at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines. Photo: Nguyen Khoi / Tuoi Tre

Vietnam will take on Kyrgyzstan in a friendly in a week to prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month.  

The Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic on Wednesday sent a letter to confirm that Kyrgyzstan will play the friendly, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) said the same day, adding that the game is slated to take place on March 26.  

Iraq had canceled a planned friendly match with Vietnam for fear of the novel coronavirus, which is hitting the Southeast Asian country.

The VFF then invited Kyrgyzstan to take Iraq’s place and secured the Central Asian team's consent shortly.

“Kyrgyzstan sent their confirmation on Wednesday afternoon,” Tran Quoc Tuan, deputy president of the VFF, said.

“They will clash with hosts Myanmar [in the 2022 FIFA World qualifiers] on March 31 after the friendly.”  

Vietnam’s heach coach Park Hang Seo and his men will move to Ho Chi Minh City on March 21 to prepare for their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against hosts Malaysia on March 31.

The Kyrgyzstan friendly proves very important for Park’s team ahead of their visit to Malaysia.

The game will be held at a stadium in southern Vietnam.

Vietnam are leading Group G in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with 11 points from five matches, followed by Malaysia on nine, Thailand on eight, and the UAE – who have played four games – on six points.  

China’s central Hubei province had 349 new confirmed viral infections on Wednesday, down from 1,693 a day earlier and lowest since January 25, Reuters reported.

The death toll in China totaled over 2,100 deaths out of 74,000 cases, according to the same source.

Vietnam has confirmed 16 infections so far, with 14 having fully recovered.

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