Iraq have invited Vietnam to play a friendly match ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in the latter’s soil, but might be subject to a 14-day quarantine as per the Southeast Asian country’s current regulations on prevention and control the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Vietnam Football Federation (VFF)’s general secretary Le Hoai Anh on Wednesday said that the Iraq Football Association (IFA) had sent their invitation to the Vietnamese football governing body regarding the friendly game with the Golden Stars in Vietnam scheduled for October 8.
In a response to the request, instead of accepting or rejecting it, the VFF clearly informed the Iraqi side that their national football team might have to finish a required 14-day quarantine before they are allowed to run on a Vietnamese pitch, Anh told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
Vietnam has barred entry to foreign nationals since March 22, with exceptions only for those carrying diplomatic or official passports or entering for special economic projects, who must be quarantined immediately quarantined upon arrivals.
“The COVID-19 situation may change in October, but the VFF has to provide the IFA with all information about the current regulations of Vietnam for their consideration,” Anh said, adding that the two sides are still discussing the issue and have yet to reach a final decision.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced on Friday last week the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, which have been postponed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume this October and November.
The Asian qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are in its second round, played by 40 teams drawn into eight groups of five to play home-and-away round-robin matches from September 5, 2019.
Vietnam are in Group G, alongside Malaysia, Thailand, the UAE, and Indonesia, while Iraq compete in Group C against Bahrain, Iran, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.
According to the AFC’s schedules, Vietnam will play Malaysia on October 13, Indonesia on November 12, and the UAE on November 17, while Iraq will face Hong Kong, Cambodia and Iran on the same dates, respectively.
Previously, the VFF had invited Iraq and Kyrgyzstan to play Vietnam but all the matches were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.