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Vietnam U22 team to take part in Toulon Tournament

The Vietnam U22 team will take part in the Toulon Tournament to be held in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France from December 23 to January 7 next year, the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has announced.

"The VFF has agreed to send the U22 team to France to attend the friendly tournament at the invitation of the French Football Federation. At present, the coaching staff for the U22 team going to the French event has not set up yet. Coach Park Hang-seo has the right to lead the team to the tournament or give it to his assistants,” said Tran Quoc Tuan, VFF Vice Chairman.

According to Tuan, this is a very good opportunity for U22 Vietnam to hone their skills and gain experience by playing strong opponents at the event to prepare for the campaign to defend their SEA Games gold medal at the Games to be held in Vietnam next year.

It will also help them prepare for the upcoming qualifying round of the AFC U23 Championship 2021.

The Toulon Tournament is considered a miniature World Cup for young teams and the likes of Thierry Henry of France, Manuel Rui Costa of Portugal and Alan Shearer of England have played in the past.

There are 10 teams confirmed to participate in the event including Japan, Australia, Vietnam, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Mexico, England, France, and Romania.

The organisers are waiting for two more teams to confirm to divide the 12 teams into three groups, competing in a round-robin format to choose three group winners and the best second-placed team to enter the semi-finals.

Previously, the tournament was expected to take place in June but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed until the end of the year.

Tuan said that depending on the situation of the pandemic, the VFF and coach Park will give a detailed plan to compete in the tournament.

Repeated postponements of international matches in 2020 have created a busy schedule for the Republic of Korean coach and his players in 2021.

Recently, the ASEAN Football Federation set the time to hold the AFF Cup 2020 from April 11 to May 8, 2021.

According to the VFF, Vietnamese teams have at least five summons to prepare for international matches next year.

In the second qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup in Asia, Vietnam top Group G and have only three matches more with Malaysia, Indonesia and the UAE.

If they make it to the third qualifying round and reach the AFF Cup 2020 final, Vietnam’s senior team will have about 20 matches in 2021.

For the U22 team, 2021 has the AFC U23 Championship’s qualifying round on October 23 - 31 and the SEA Games 31 which will take place from November 21 to December 2./.