The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) announced on Sunday evening the urgent reinforcement of six additional players to the Vietnamese team competing at the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U23 Youth Championship in Cambodia after nearly half of the squad tested positive for COVID-19.
Ten out of 27 players in the team and two assistants were confirmed positive for the novel coronavirus just one day after Vietnam thrashed Singapore 7-0 in their first group-stage battle at the tourney on Saturday night.
It is very likely that the infection will spread among the team members in the next few days.
In order to avoid a shortage of players in the upcoming games, the VFF decided to send Phan Tuan Tai of Viettel FC, Dinh Quy of QNK Quang Nam FC, Vu Dinh Hai of Hanoi FC, Huynh Tien Dat, Nguyen Thanh Nhan and Tran Bao Toan of Hoang Anh Gia Lai FC, who are expected to arrived in Phnom Penh on Tuesday afternoon.
However, they will not join Vietnam’s match against archrivals Thailand at 7:00 pm on the same day.
A team can make up to ten substitutions when their players test positive for COVID-19, according to the latest regulations of the AFF.
The 2022 AFF U23 Championship has three groups.
Group A has hosts Cambodia, Timor Leste, the Philippines, and Brunei while Group B includes Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Laos.
Indonesia and Myanmar have backed out of Group B because of a myriad of COVID-19 infections on their teams.
Vietnam and Thailand were drawn in Group C alongside Singapore, who kicked off their campaign at the tourney with a 1-3 loss against Thailand on February 16.
The top team of each group and the best runners-up will enter the semifinals.
The championship started on Monday and will conclude on February 26.