Viet Nam to have chance as World Cup expand to 32
09:08 | 28/12/2020
VGP - The world football governing body FIFA’s slot confirmation opens chance for Viet Nam at the world largest competition for women.

FIFA took a decision to expand the quadrennial tournament from 24 to 32 participants, starting with the next edition slated for 2023.

At a recent meeting, FIFA released the breakdown for the 32-team women’s tournament. Europe (UEFA) will get 11 direct slots, while Asia (AFC) takes six. Africa (CAF) and Concacaf have four each. It is one for Oceania (OFC) and three for South America (CONMEBOL).

The two host countries, Australia and New Zealand, will automatically qualify for the competition, with their slots having been taken directly from their confederation’s quota.

The three remaining slots will be decided through a 10-team play-off tournament with Asia having two teams participating.

Australia have already won the first of Asian six direct slots. Viet Nam as the continental No 5 and world No 34 would vie for the remaining five along with leading teams such as Japan, China and South Korea as well as Thailand, Jordan and Chinese Taipei.

“FIFA’s decision to increase the number of World Cup teams gives an opportunity for not only Viet Nam but also other Asian squads,” said head coach Mai Đuc Chung.

“All teams will receive strong support to catch this chance. Thailand have been in World Cup and they want more time. Uzbekistan, Iran and Jordan expect to have their first time like us. So door is open but competition is tough.

“It is not easy to beat Thailand, Myanmar or Chinese Taipei despite our higher ranking in the world table. Anyway, it is a good news so we should have best preparation. My players will have to work harder for the best result in all coming tournaments,” he said.

The national team will have a one-month training camp next month in preparation for 2021 fixtures including the ASEAN championship, the 31st SEA Games and the Asian championship qualification.

Asian World Cup slots will be identified through the 2022 Asian Women’s Football Championship which is scheduled in Indian in October and November, 2021. Six best teams will qualify for the World Cup. Teams who rank seventh and eighth will compete at the playoff tournament.

In the 2019 France World Cup, Asian representatives were Australia, Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand.

The first Women’s World Cup, held in 1991 in China, had 12 participants.

Viet Nam were close to winning World Cup slots in both 2015 and 2019 competitions but failed in the playoff matches.

The 2023 World Cup will be held between July 10 and August 20 in 12 cities in Australia and New Zealand./.

Thanh Ha

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